If you think a child sitting shotgun is an uncommon sight, it's because it is.

Saskatchewan RCMP recently shared some statistics from this calendar year on seatbelts and young children. All child passengers should be wearing a seatbelt at all times, and according to the RCMP release here in Saskatchewan you can be fined $175 if a child under the age of 7 isn’t in an appropriate car or booster seat, or if a passenger under the age of 16 is not buckled up. 

"Protect your young passengers. Children 12 and under are safest in the back seat of a vehicle in proper restraints based on their age, height, and weight."

Some parents are taking the option on safety, leading Saskatchewan RCMP to remind drivers that it’s the law to ensure children are buckled up safely in an appropriate car or booster seat.

"Since the beginning of 2023, Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) has identified 198 children under the age of 7, as well as 49 children between the ages of 7-15, as not having been properly restrained through the use of seatbelts or child restraints during traffic stops resulting in a seatbelt-related charges." stated the release as CTSS consists of officers from Saskatchewan RCMP and municipal police agencies.

Looking at the large group under seven-years-old, 142 were not even in a car or booster seat to begin with. 46 individuals were restrained improperly in the seat, 16 were correctly placed in a seat though it was determined to be improperly attached to the vehicle, and 29 other various seating issues were observed including one instance where a child was thrown forward during the initial stop for police.

The front seat is just as unacceptable, and 26 children earned their vehicle a ticket for the lack of due diligence. The front seat is particularly hazardous for children because of a vehicles inflating airbag that can severely injure small children in any type of collision. 

Making sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up could help save more than just a few dollars down the road.