New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs New Law Requiring Passengers 16 Years of Age and Older to Wear a Seat Belt
ALBANY, NY – August 14, 2020 – According to an official press release from the New York Governor’s Office, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed new legislation (S.4336/A.6163) that mandates all passengers 16 years of age and older to wear a seat belt while riding in a motor vehicle in the State of New York. The current seat belt law in New York only requires passengers who are 16 years of age and older to wear a seat belt if seated in the front passenger seat (next to the driver of the motor vehicle).
The governor stated that seat belts save lives, and the new law will help to end preventable tragedies. The governor also reminded New Yorkers that his father, a former New York governor, made New York the first U.S. state to pass a life-saving, seat belt law, and the country followed his father’s lead. Governor Cuomo stated that this new bill builds upon his father’s legacy and will help create a stronger and safer Empire State for everyone.
New York Governor Mario Cuomo, in 1984, made New York the first state in the country to mandate seat belt usage. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, only 16 percent of New Yorkers wore a seat belt when the law was signed in 1984. However, by 2008, seat belt usage had risen to about 89 percent.
Senator David Carlucci thanked the advocates such as AAA for their hard work and efforts in support of the new law.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee reports that about 30 percent of highway deaths in the State of New York are passengers who were not wearing a seat belt. Safety experts estimate that back seat belt usage would prevent more than two-thirds of serious injuries and death occurring in motor vehicle accidents. The new law seeks to reduce motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities by requiring every occupant in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. The new seat belt law goes into effect on November 1, 2020.
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