NY Seat Belt Law Expansion: Everything You Need to Know

NY Will Buckle Down on People Who Don’t Buckle Up

On November 1, 2020, New York’s seat belt law will expand to require people who are age 16 or older to wear a seat belt in the back seat of a car. Prior to the passing of this law, people who were 16 or older only had to wear a seat belt in the front seat but now, they must buckle up no matter what section of a vehicle they’re sitting in.

People who are under 16 are still required to wear a seat belt in every seat of a car at all times. The reason New York’s seat belt law expanded is that it could save lives, which is why passengers who fail to comply with the rule could suffer $50 fines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017 but failing to wear a seatbelt accounted for 47% of crash-related fatalities in that same year.

As such, it comes as no surprise that seat belt enforcement is a top priority for New York police officers. Drivers can expect to experience warnings and enforcement of the seat belt law only after they get pulled over, and will receive a grace period for their tickets even after the law goes into effect on Nov. 1.

Key Components of New York’s Occupant Restraint Law

It can benefit you to read the highlights of New York’s seat belt laws below to give you a good understanding of what is expected both drivers and passengers:

  • In the front and back seat, the driver and each passenger must wear a seat belt, one person per belt. The driver and all passengers aged 16 or older can be fined up to $50 each for failure to buckle up.
  • Every occupant, regardless of age or seating position, of a motor vehicle being operated by the holder of a Class-DJ Learner Permit, a Limited Class-DJ, or Class-DJ Driver License must wear a seat belt.
  • Each passenger under age 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate child safety restraint system, which must comply with the child height and weight recommendations determined by the manufacturer. Depending on the size of the child, the restraint system may be a safety seat or a booster seat used in combination with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • The driver must make sure that each passenger under age 16 obeys the law. The driver can be fined $25 to $100 and receive 3 driver license penalty points per violation.
  • Seat belt use is not required in emergency vehicles, 1964 or older vehicles, or by passengers in buses other than school buses (seat belt use may be required by the school district). Rural letter Carriers are also exempt while they are delivering mail.
  • Effective November 1, 2017, the driver and each front seat passenger aged 16 or older must wear a seat belt in taxi and livery vehicles.

Call Our NYC Seat Belt Violation Lawyer

Although NY is granting a grace period for drivers who violate its recently expanded seat belt law, that does not mean police officers won’t be vigilant on violators. If you got a ticket for violating New York’s occupant restraint law, contact our firm at (877) 803-2603 to discuss your case with our NYC seat belt violation attorney at no cost.

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