Buckle Up: New law requiring back-seat passengers to wear a seat belt goes into effect Nov. 1
Get ready to buckle up. Starting Nov. 1, wearing a seat belt will be required for all back-seat passengers in New York state.
New York was the first state in the nation in 1984 to pass a mandatory seat belt law for front-seat passengers.
Passengers in the rear seats under the age of 16 were the only ones required to buckle up under the old law.
Safety advocates and doctors hope the new law will reduce traumatic brain injury during crashes and help save lives. Robert Sinclair, with AAA, says crash test video shows the level of violence a back-seat passenger experiences when not wearing a seat belt during a crash.
The new law also applies to taxis and ride-share vehicles.
"People feel they don't need to buckle up and we really find that is one of the most dangerous scenarios," says Christine Nastasi, an RN at Stony Brook Children's Hospital. "You are in a car with someone you are not familiar with, you don't know the driver and you still have risk. So, we are really hoping this will reduce the amount of injury."
Violators of the seat belt law can be fined up to $50 per person.
Drivers also face a fine ranging from $25 to $100 and can receive three points on their license for each violation.
Many drivers who News 12 spoke to say they didn't even know about the law, which was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the summer.