In 1984, New York State became the first state to enact a mandatory seat belt law. New York's seat belt law is a "primary enforcement law". This means that a police officer may stop you for not having a seat belt on.
A statewide seat belt observational survey conducted in June 2019 shows that the current seat belt use rate is at a historical high of 94%. Despite these gains in usage, roughly 33% of the front-seat occupants killed on New York State roadways are unrestrained. When unbelted back seat occupants killed are included, the total unrestrained killed percentage rises to approximately 37%.
Increasing seat belt and child safety seat use is the most effective way to reduce crash-related injuries and fatalities. Buckle Up New York, Click It Or Ticket, is a statewide, zero-tolerance enforcement effort coordinated by the State Police, local agencies, sheriff's offices, and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to increase safety restraint use in New York State.
**Effective November 1, 2020:
- All motor vehicle passengers aged 16 and older must be restrained by a seat belt.
- Backseat passengers in a taxi or livery who are 16 years of age or older must be restrained by a seat belt.
- All passengers in a taxi or livery who are 8-15 years of age must be restrained by a seat belt.
Statewide Law Enforcement Liaison
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228