Carlucci’s Bill to Require Passengers Wear a Seat Belt in the Back Seat is Signed Into Law

Carlucci Holds Press Conference on Importance of Rear Seat Belt Bill in Albany, May 13, 2019

(Albany, NY) – Today, Senator David Carlucci’s and Assemblyman Walter Mosley’s legislation (S.4336/A.6163), requiring passengers buckle up in the back seat was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  Now, adult passengers over 16-years of age who do not buckle up in the back seat can be ticketed $50 along with the driver. The new law applies to passenger vehicles and individuals using ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft outside of New York City.

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) said, "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. With this bill signed into law, we will help prevent tragedies and save lives in New York. Thank you to the advocates, including AAA for their strong support of this legislation."

Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn) said, "Seat belts are a proven way to make our roads safer and lower the number of automobile fatalities. This legislation will go a long way towards achieving that goal and ensuring that all passengers are safe when traveling. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our state."

“AAA has worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers and the public about the importance of buckling up in the back seat. This comprehensive seat belt law will save lives and prevent injuries on New York State roadways. We greatly appreciate Governor Cuomo signing this lifesaving legislation,” said Lauren Paterno, Government Affairs Representative for AAA New York.

It is a common misconception that a seat belt is not needed in the backseat because it is safer. However, AAA Northeast found an unbelted rear seat passenger in a vehicle accident is two times more likely to be killed, eight times more likely to be seriously injured, and two times more likely to kill a front seat occupant by becoming a projectile. In New York State, over the last decade, 289 people have been killed, and 25,596 people have been injured, while unrestrained in the back seat of a motor vehicle.

In 1984, New York became the first state in the nation to require drivers and all front-seat passengers wear a seat belt. At that time, about 16 percent of individuals wore seat belts. By 2008, 24 years after the law was enacted, the compliance rate was up to 89 percent.

Carlucci added, “The new law was long overdue.”   

Dozens of organizations, representing traffic safety, public health, health care and the insurance industry supported a rear seat belt requirement.

The new law will take effect on November 1, 2020.

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Senator David Carlucci represents most of Rockland County and parts of Westchester County in the 38th NYS Senate District. To learn more about his legislative efforts, click here or sign up to receive email updates.

Senator Carlucci Holds Press Conference, Calling for Passage of Rear Seat Belt Bill in Albany, February 11, 2020