• by Eli Moore Traffic Attorney

Attn New Yorkers: All Passengers Must Wear a Seatbelt

Updated: Nov 24, 2020


On November 1st, 2020, the New York State law regarding wearing seat belts in motor vehicles changed. From now on, all passengers in a vehicle operated on a public highway in New York State must wear a seatbelt, regardless of age.


Before Governor Cumo signed this legislation on August 11th, passengers age 16 and older were only required to wear a seat belt if they were riding in the front passenger seat.The hope is that this expansion of the seat belt law will prevent needless tragedies. "It was under my father's leadership that New York became the first state in the country to pass a seat belt law, and the nation followed his lead. Now we are building upon this legacy and helping to create a safer and stronger Empire State for all," said Governor Cuomo.


The fact is seat belts save lives.The NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee indicated that 30% of highway deaths in New York involved passengers who did not wear a seat belt. Unbuckled passengers in a rear seat are twice as likely to be killed and eight times as likely to be seriously injured when flung forward compared to those who are wearing seat belts Over the last decade, 296 rear seat passengers over the age of 16 who were not buckled up were killed in New York State and over 25,000 suffered injuries, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). In 2017, of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes, 47% were NOT wearing a seatbelt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The new law applies to all passenger cars in New York State. Back seat passengers who are caught not wearing seatbelts can be charged a $50 fine.

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