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Rear-seat belt law takes effect November 1

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Governor Cuomo signed a new rear-seat belt law yesterday which takes effect November 1, requiring all passengers regardless of age to buckle up in the back seat of a motor vehicle.

Until now, backseat passengers over the age of 16 weren’t required to wear seat belts in New York State – that’s now subject to a $50 fine.

New York joins 30 other states which have implemented similar laws.

According to Triple-A, nearly 300 people were killed and over 25k injured in NYS over the past decade while unrestrained in the back, accounting for eight injuries every day.

More data is provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which reports teens and young adults 16-24 years old are least likely to buckle up and most likely to die compared to any other age group in the state.

FARS data also shows rear seat occupants who fail to buckle up are:

  • 2x more likely to be killed
  • 8x more likely to be seriously injured
  • 2x more likely to kill a front seat occupant by becoming a projectile.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has indicated 30 percent of highway deaths in New York are occupants unrestrained by a seat belt.

Safety experts believe that the use of a backseat seat belt could prevent over two thirds of fatalities and serious injuries resulting from crashes.

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