Taxi drivers in B.C., who used to be allowed to forego their seatbelt when driving under certain speeds, are now having to buckle up like every other driver on the roadway.
The change stems from a repeal in September to B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, announced by North Vancouver RCMP in a news release Friday.
Prior to the repeal, cab drivers were exempt from using a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres per hour. Now, anyone behind the wheel of a taxi caught without their seatbelt runs the risk of being slapped with a $167 fine.
Thankfully this closes one more door on a past that was blind to the simple fact that seatbelts save lives, said Sgt. Peter DeVries.
For the rest of B.C., seatbelts have been mandatory since 1977. Drivers or passengers older than 16 years old caught without wearing one face the same $167 fine.
When travelling at 55 kilometres per hour a person not wearing a seatbelt in a crash has the same experience as falling from a three-storey building, according to ICBC.
Forty-six people died in a car accident due to not wearing a seatbelt or being buckled properly in a booster seat in 2012, the latest crash data made available by the insurance corporation.