Cuomo signs bill requiring NY state passengers 16 and older to wear seat belts

By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- No one in New York state will be allowed to ride in a car without wearing a seat belt under a bill Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Tuesday. 

Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation that will require back seat passengers ages 16 and older to wear seat belts.

Up until Tuesday, drivers and front seat passengers of any age were required to wear seat belts, but only children under the age of 16 were required to wear seat belts in the back seats of a vehicle. 

“We’ve known for decades that seat belts save lives and with this measure we are further strengthening our laws and helping to prevent needless tragedies,” Cuomo said in a statement. 

“It was under my father’s leadership that New York became the first state in the country to pass a seat belt law, and the nation followed his lead,” he added. “Now we are building upon this legacy and helping to create a safer and stronger Empire State for all.” 

Approximately 30 percent of highway deaths in New York state involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts, Cuomo said in his release, citing data from his Traffic Safety Committee. 

Back seat seat belts “could prevent over two thirds of fatal and serious injuries resulting from crashes,” the release noted.