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What Is The New York Seat Belt Law?

Learn about the New York state seat belt laws.


In November 2020, New York set out a mandate for all passengers in the state to buckle up in every seat of the car. Police can pull over the car and ticket the driver for anyone not wearing a seat belt anywhere in the car. New York takes safety seriously and plans to keep the streets safe for all passengers. Find out everything you need to know about the new seat belt law and know how this law pertains to you and your passengers.


New York seat belt law 2020


New York State requires all passengers, including drivers, to buckle up as of November 1st, 2020. No matter the age or the passenger, everyone needs to have a seat belt. Children under 16 without a guardian or parent will receive a penalty on their record if they fail to buckle up. In addition, the driver will receive a fine of $50 for any unbuckled passengers, including themselves.


Furthermore, the state will soon have placards alerting passengers of the new rules affecting all drivers. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) also offers optional vehicle decals with the passenger seat belt requirement message to all TLC vehicle licensees. With visible instructions, they hope to ensure passengers are informed of the New York State requirement. Instructions are in English, Spanish, and Chinese.


Additionally, under-16 passengers must use seat belts or child safety seats. Manufacturer-recommended kid height and weight must be met to meet safety standards. Depending on the child's size, a safety seat or booster seat may be utilized with a lap and shoulder belt. The driver must ensure all under-16 passengers respect the law as each infringement can cost the motorist $25 to $100 and three license points.


However, the law does not apply to emergency vehicles, vehicles from 1964 or older, and non-school buses do not require seat belts. Mail carriers are also excluded. Some exceptions do apply, such as a written medical exemption. Carry the exemption form with your physician's letterhead with you when traveling to prevent complications such as a fine or ticket.


New York state seat belt law backseat


New York's new universal seat belt legislation compels all car passengers to wear a seat belt at all times, regardless of age or seat placement. Before, adult New Yorkers only needed to buckle up in the front seat. The new law extends this need to the rear seat, regardless of age.


In addition, every youngster must utilize a safety seat, regardless of age. If under the age of four, the kid must be fastened in a federally-approved child safety seat by a safety belt or LATCH system. Children under four-year-olds over 40 pounds can use a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt. Kids ages four to seven must use a booster seat or child safety seat, meeting all height and weight recommendations.


Children above 4 feet 9 inches or 100 pounds can use a lap-shoulder seat belt. To utilize a seat belt, a youngster must be able to sit upright against the vehicle's seat back with both legs bent. The lap belt should be low and tight over the upper thighs; the shoulder belt should lie across the child's chest and shoulder without touching the throat; otherwise, they need a booster seat.


Curan & Ahlers: New York Car Accident Attorneys


Seat belts save lives and keep people from getting severely hurt in car accidents which is why New York State created the new guidelines. New York is a state with "primary enforcement," meaning they can and will fine you for failing to ensure everyone in your vehicle wears a seatbelt. If a driver does not make sure a child passenger is safe in a safety seat or with a seat belt, they can get a ticket. The law also applies to visitors to the state.


If you or someone in your car in New York did not wear a seatbelt, call the New York car accident lawyers at Curan & Ahlers for more information about your rights. We are here to help you with traffic violations, car accidents, and much more. Call us if you are in an accident when the other driver has not followed the 2020 seatbelt safety law. We can help you get the right amount of money for personal injury. Contact us today to talk about your case for free.


Curan & Ahlers is ready to fight for you because they have more than 35 years of experience with auto accident cases. Curan & Ahlers helps people who have been in car accidents in Westchester County and all over New York. Contact us today if you want to talk to experienced car accident lawyers.


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