Lawmakers once again push to require seat belts for back-seat passengers

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The law requiring drivers and their front-seat passengers to buckle up may soon be applying to the back seat as well.

In New York, seat belt use is only required in the front seat, but some state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would make rear seat belt-use mandatory. A $50 citation would be issued for those who don't comply.

Lawmakers say unbuckled rear-seat passengers are eight times more likely to be injured or killed in an accident. They also say with the rise of ridesharing, the bill needs to be passed.

"If you are not wearing a seat belt in the back seat, even if the driver in the front seat is wearing their seat belt, your body is a projectile that could kill the occupant in front of you," says state Sen. David Carlucci.

If passed, New York would become one of a majority of states requiring seat belts in back seats.

"We can prevent further injuries and deaths on our roadways, it is time for New York to join 30 other states by passing a rear seat belt law," says Lauren Paterno, of AAA Northeast.

Last year a similar bill died in Albany, but this year supporters say they are pushing even harder, calling it common-sense legislation.

Still, some say the law is unnecessary.

"I think people should do things because it's good for them, not just because authorities tell them they should do it," says George Tzimopoulous, of Plainview.

The Assembly passed the bill Wednesday afternoon. It now goes on to the state Senate.

 

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