New York's Seatbelt Laws

Back in 2020, New York State lawmakers passed a bill that changed seatbelt regulations as most New Yorkers had known them for decades. Under this new law, driving with unbuckled passengers could land motorists with citations under any circumstance.

Before Nov. 1, 2020, certain passengers in a vehicle were allowed to ride without buckling their seatbelts. This was permitted as long as they were adults and rode in the backseats of the vehicle. Now, however, all occupants of a vehicle – regardless of seat position or age – must buckle up before driving.

Who Gets the Ticket for an Unbuckled Passenger?

Drivers are responsible for ensuring their passengers are buckled and remain buckled while driving. If a police officer initiates a traffic stop for an unbuckled passenger, the driver will receive the citation.

What Are the Penalties for a Seatbelt Ticket in New York?

For each violation, a driver can receive a fine of $25 to $100 and three points against their driver’s license. Remember that a license suspension triggers when someone accrues 11 points, which means a four-passenger car full of unbuckled occupants can cost the driver their driving privileges.

When Are Seatbelts Not Required?

There are still some exceptions when wearing a seatbelt is not required, such as these:

  • Riding in a taxi
  • Riding in an emergency vehicle
  • Riding in a vehicle from 1964 or earlier
  • Riding as a passenger on a bus (but not a school bus)

Cited for Not Wearing a Seatbelt? We Can Help.

If you were ticketed because you or one of your passengers wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, you can fight your citation with help from Stites Law. Our attorney knows that New Yorkers are still getting used to this new law, so mistakes are bound to happen. We can assess your situation and build a defense that may mitigate your responsibility for the ticket.

Learn more about how Stites Law can help you by contacting us online.