New push to require everyone to buckle up in the back seat

News10 WHEC

March 23, 2017

Originally published in News10 WHEC on March 23, 2017.

There is a new push to require people of all ages sitting in the back seat of a car to wear a seat belt.

Buckle up! There is a new push to require people of all ages sitting in the back seat of a car to wear a seat belt. 

AAA says 68 percent of NY drivers support a mandatory seat belt law for adults in the back. Fifteen percent opposed the law.

The governor also wants to bolster the state's seat belt law -- with a similar provision in his proposed budget.

AAA is calling on state lawmakers get on board. AAA says whether you are in the front seat or the back, everyone should always wear your seatbelt, because your life depends on it. That's why they're pushing for the state to tighten its seatbelt laws.

We asked drivers what they think about a new law that would require all passengers in the back seat to buckle up.

Earl Repp of Irondequoit has been driving cars way before New York enacted the first seat belt law in 1984. He says “I just don't know how intrusive I want the state police to be to this degree where you're pulled over you know you don't have your seatbelt on in the back seat to we'll write you up for that.”

Under the current state law if you are under the age of 16 you must wear your seatbelt when you're in the back seat. But if you're 16 and older, you are not required to buckle up.

Last year, AAA released a report on fatal New York crashes and found that in a span of 19 years, almost 900 unbelted rear seat occupants ages 16 and over were killed, including at least one in every county.

David Saxton, AAA’s regional team leader for insurance says, “All adults should be required to buckle up. It takes 5 seconds… it could be the difference between life and death or becoming seriously injured or maybe just walking away from an accident with just a few scrapes and bruises or something like that.”

There are pending bills both in the state senate and assembly that would require all passengers to buckle up. Senator Martin Dilan of Brooklyn proposed one of those bills. He sent a statement saying in part:

"Today, the back seat is the most dangerous place to be in a vehicle. If you're unrestrained, you not only put yourself at greater risk, you're likely to be as much as the cause of injury or death to your friends and family in the front, as the initial collision," 

Meanwhile, drivers like Earl Repp says pros and cons of this seat belt requirement should be weighed, “I don't know if it needs the weight of another law and another fine and another incarceration and another scrutiny of someone's lives to figure out what they’re doing with themselves to keep them safe in life.”