What is the Option 4 Program?

The goal of the Option 4 program is to reduce the number and the severity of injuries to children as a result of motor vehicle collisions through a uniform, effective, education and enforcement program. Safety checks coordinated by the local police service, the RCMP or other enforcement agencies are held on a regular basis. At a safety check, children riding in vehicles are checked to make sure they are correctly buckled up in a child safety seat, a booster seat or a seat belt, depending on their size. A ticket may be issued to the driver if any misuse or non-use of the child restraint is identified.

A driver who receives a traffic ticket usually has three options:

• Pay the ticket.

• Plead not guilty by mail.

• Plead not guilty in court.

The following resources can be used to teach Option 4 sessions for drivers ticketed for incorrect restraint of a passenger under 16 years of age may be given an additional option, called Option 4. Option 4 allows the driver to attend an education session on proper use of child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts for children. After completion of this session, the ticket is recommended for withdrawal and the driver does not pay the fine. The Option 4 program exists in many areas in Alberta. In areas where the program is not available, the driver must deal with the ticket in another way.

Where implemented, the Option 4 program has had a positive impact on the use of child restraints, and has resulted in successful partnerships between health and enforcement to address a traffic safety issue.

If you have received a ticket for incorrect restraint of a passenger under 16 years of age:

1. Check the Upcoming Option 4 Sessions section below for a session in your area. Attend a session at least 2 weeks prior to the court date on your ticket.
 
2. Pre-register for the session. For the ticket to be withdrawn, the ticketed driver must attend the session. Check to see if the session in your area is open to friends and family who want to learn about child restraints.

3. Bring both your ticket and your driver’s license to the class. Arrive on time and attend the entire class in order for your ticket to be withdrawn.

Setting Up and Maintaining an Option 4 Program

The Alberta Traffic Safety Plan designates March and October for occupant restraint activities, including seat belt, child safety seat and booster seat enforcement and education. These designated months are a perfect fit with an Option 4 program. This section provides information and resources for health, enforcement and other community partners interested in child passenger safety to run an Option 4 program.

• March 2011 Option 4 Update

• Option 4 Session Materials

• Enforcement Materials

      • Training
      • Roadside Safety Checks

           • Reference Card
           • Safety Check Guidelines
           • Sample Recommendation for Withdrawal

• Recommendation for Withdrawal Forms - these are required for an
  Option 4 program. These forms are available from the AORP Program
  Coordinator by email info@albertaseatbelts.ca.
  The forms are supplied in packages of 50 and sent by mail.

• Register Your Area’s Sessions for posting on this site. Email the dates
  and locations of upcoming sessions to info@albertaseatbelts.ca at least 2
  weeks prior to your safety check.

Upcoming Education Sessions

• Edmonton - Information about Option four Classes in the Edmonton area is available by calling 780-735-3004. Pre-registration is required and detailed information about dates, times and locations is available at that number between 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
• Calgary