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Buckle up: Soon, all New York passengers will have to wear a seat belt

Buckle up: Soon, all New York passengers will have to wear a seat belt

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Make sure everyone is buckled up

All motor-vehicle passengers will soon be required to wear a seat belt in New York regardless of their age and if they are sitting in the back seat.

Current law requires all front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt, as well as those 16 and younger riding in the rear seat.

That's about to change: Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation into law that expanded the seat belt requirements to include all passengers, citing the safety benefits.

"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," Cuomo said in a statement.

The governor described the law as the continuing the work of his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, who helped make New York the first state to pass a mandatory seat belt law in 1984.

“Now we are building upon this legacy and helping to create a safer and stronger Empire State for all,” Andrew Cuomo said.

The new seat belt mandate for passengers takes effect Nov. 1.

In approving the law, the governor’s office noted about 30% of highway deaths in New York are occupants unrestrained by a seat belt.

Safety experts believe that the use of backseat seat belts could prevent over two-thirds of fatalities and serious injuries caused by the crashes involving unbuckled passengers, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee analysis.

"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,” state Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement.

Assemblyman Walter Mosley, D-Brooklyn, sponsored the bill in the Assembly.

Before New York passed its law, 29 states and the District of Columbia already required all rear-seat passengers to buckle up, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


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