The New York State Assembly yesterday (February 12) passed a bill that would require all passengers to wear seat belts in the back seat of a moving vehicle, regardless of their age and seating position.
Under current law, a seat belt is only required by law in the front seat for passengers 16-years-old and up. Passengers under 16 already have to buckle up, regardless of where they’re seated.
The legislation now heads to the state senate for consideration, and if passed would be taken to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“The Assembly Majority is committed to making sure our roads are safe for everyone,” said NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “When you refuse to wear a seat belt, you are not just taking your own life into your hands, you put at-risk the lives of those in the car with you. Requiring everyone, regardless of where they are sitting, to buckle up will save lives.”
According to AAA New York State, a rear seat passenger who isn’t wearing a seatbelt during an accident is twice as likely to be killed, eight times more likely to be seriously injured and twice as likely to kill a front seat occupant by becoming a projectile.
It is a common misconception that seat belts aren’t necessary in the back seat of a vehicle due to it being safer than the front.
Surveying from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows 28 percent of all passengers in the U.S. don’t buckle up in the backseat.