New York’s new seat belt law – that requires everyone who is 16 years of age or older to buckle up while riding the front or beat seat – will take effect on November 1, 2020. Passengers under 16 years old were already required by law to wear a seatbelt.
Back seat passengers who are caught without a seat belt can face a fine of up to $50. Additionally, the driver could face a fine as well.
The new seat belt law applies to personal vehicles, rideshare vehicles (i.e., Uber and Lyft), and taxis. Exempt vehicles include buses and ambulances.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, approximately 30 percent of highway fatalities in New York are occupants who failed to wear a seat belt. In 2018, there were 1,033 traffic deaths in the state.
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 68 percent of backseat passengers wear a seat belt in states that do not require to – in comparison to 81 percent in states that require all passengers to buckle up. The truth is failure to wear a seat belt is a common cause of death in many states.
The law allows officers to pull vehicles over for a back seat passenger not wearing a seat belt. In other states like New Jersey, the officer can only issue a seat belt ticket if the vehicle was originally stopped for another reason.
If you were cited for a traffic violation in New York City, contact Stites Law today at (212) 729-0472. More than 125,000 drivers helped by our firm!