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New York Senate Passes Rear Passenger Seatbelt Requirement

There has always been a myth that riding in the back seat of a vehicle is less dangerous than riding in the front. Most states now require front-seat passengers to wear seat belts or face a costly traffic citation. The truth is that back seat passengers might be up to three times more likely to suffer from fatal injuries in a car wreck if they are not properly belted in. Back seat passengers who are not restrained may be thrown over the front seats and into the dashboard or windshield at a greater velocity than front-seat passengers. This can cause them to suffer greater injury than front-seat passengers. 

Niagara Frontier Publications reports that the New York State Senate has passed rear passenger seatbelt requirements for passengers 16 years of age and older. 

The new law, championed by AAA New York State, is headed to Governor Cuomo’s desk for a signature. 

The law will require all backseat passengers aged 16 and older to wear a seat belt. The law applies to passengers in Uber and Lyft vehicles.

The law was written in the hopes of helping to reduce the number of deaths of backseat passengers in traffic accidents. Over the past decade, there have been 300 backseat passengers killed and over 25,000 backseat passengers injured when they were unsecured.

The current fine for an unbuckled front seat passenger is $50. The fine will remain the same for backseat passengers. New York joins 30 other states that have similar laws. 

According to statistics, teens and young adults aged 16 to 24 are least likely to use a seatbelt and are more likely to die compared to any other age group in the United States. 

Backseat passengers who fail to buckle up are twice as likely to suffer from fatal injury and eight times more likely to suffer from a serious injury. They are also twice as likely to kill a front seat passenger. An accident turns an unbelted back seat passenger into a projectile. 

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