BAY SHORE - Safety advocates want to make it mandatory for all back-seat passengers to wear a seat belt.

New York state does not currently require rear-seat passengers over the age of 16 to buckle up. There are 17 states that have laws requiring all passengers to wear seat belts.

Driving safety experts say the law needs to be changed and are pushing a bill in Albany to require seat belt use by everyone.

"So many lives were lost because a lot of people were ejected for not wearing their safety belts," says Steve Bowe, of Empire Safety Council.

Legislators have talked of a law to require passengers in the rear seat to use a seat belt in Albany for years, according to state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore).

Lawmakers expect to see a draft of the bill next month.?