Governor Cuomo Signs New Law Requiring All Passengers to Wear a Seat Belt in New York

Posted: August 12, 2020

guy in the back of a vehicle

Beginning Nov. 1, all New York State passengers will have to buckle up.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation requiring all backseat passengers in vehicles aged 16 or older to wear a seat belt. The rule expands on current New York state restraint laws that require passengers over the age of 16 to wear a seat belt only when riding in the front seat.

“We’ve known for decades that seat belts save lives and with this measure we are further strengthening our laws and helping to prevent needless tragedies,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”

The new law is one of a series of mandates intended to reduce motor vehicle accident fatalities. In 1984, Cuomo’s father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, made New York the first state in the country to pass a mandatory seat belt law. After the enactment of the law, seat belt compliance rose from 16 percent to 89 percent by 2008.

Assembly Member Walter Mosley, who sponsored the bill, said in the press statement, “Seatbelts are a proven way to make our roads safer and lower the number of automobile fatalities. This legislation will go a long way towards achieving that goal and ensuring that all passengers are safe when traveling. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our state.”

Senator David Carlucci also said, “The injuries you can sustain from not wearing a seat belt can be deadly, and that’s a fact whether you sit in the front or the back of a vehicle. With this bill signed into law, we will help prevent tragedies and save lives in New York. Thank you to the advocates, including AAA for their strong support of this legislation.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, roughly 47 percent of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing a seat belt. It’s estimated that seat belt restraints saved an estimated 14,955 lives that same year.

Hurt in a Car Accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident, due to another driver’s negligence, you may want to consider contacting a lawyer. The car accident injury lawyers at William Mattar law offices may be able to help you. We are available 24/7, so don’t wait. Give us a call at 844-444-4444 or submit a contact form.

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