(Photos: Kelly Roche/QEW South Post)
BY KELLY ROCHE
A trucker was caught letting his four-year-old son ride shotgun along the QEW in south Mississauga today.
Once pulled over heading westbound near Cawthra Rd., Ontario Provincial Police Const. Ian Michel opened the passenger side door to find the boy had vanished.
The driver “tried to hide him in the back of the sleeper compartment when he was stopped,” said Michel, from the OPP’s Port Credit detachment.
The man, 42, of Mississauga, “was trying to explain that the child was crying and that’s why he wasn’t in the child seat but there was no child seat,” Michel said.
He received a $240 fine under the Highway Traffic Act.
“The kid shouldn’t be in the truck to begin with,” said Michel.
If they got into a crash, “that child becomes a projectile and there’s a lot of areas inside a big truck like that for him to fly all over the place,” said Michel, noting the encounter was unusual.
“I’ve never actually had a child in a transport truck,” he said.
OPP are ramping up enforcement as part of their fall seatbelt campaign.
Approximately 1,159 seatbelt charges have been laid by OPP in the Greater Toronto Area – 108 by the Port Credit detachment – from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.
Michel is reminding passengers in taxis and airport limos to buckle up, too.
“The rules still apply,” he said.
With 42 seatbelt related deaths this year – up from 34 in 2014 – cops are stressing seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives.
That includes child safety: Passengers under 16 must be properly restrained.
A woman driving a white Hyundai Santa Fe didn’t have a child in the vehicle but wasn’t strapped in, plus she was using the GPS on her cell phone.
“You can’t have that device in your hand,” Michel said.
She was charged with two HTA offences – totalling $730 dollars – plus three demerit points.
The incident was a “prime example” of a collision begging to happen, said Michel.
Apparently she had run low on gas.
A 35-year-old man driving a silver Audi was hitting the gas and weaving through lanes, late for a paintball party.
His validation tags had expired, plus he was speeding.
Michel decided against charging him with stunt driving.
“Our goal isn’t trying to give people a bad day,” said Michel.
SEATBELT TICKETS BY LOCATION
Highway Safety Division HQ: 35
Port Credit: 108
Hwy. 407: 151
(Source: Ontario Provincial Police)