Occupant Protection Tips and Initiatives

Seat Belt Tips

  • When you buckle up, adjust your belt so it is positioned correctly.
  • The lap belt or lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt combination should be adjusted so it is snug and low across the hips and pelvis - never across the stomach.
  • The shoulder belt should cross the chest and collarbone and be snug. The belt should never cross the front of the neck or face. Do not add excessive slack (more than one inch) into the shoulder belt. If you have an automatic shoulder belt, the lap belt must be buckled manually.  New York State law now requires vehicle occupants who are required to wear seat belts to wear both the lap belt and shoulder harness.
  • Some vehicles have shoulder belt adjusters that allow you to move the shoulder belt's upper anchorage. This feature makes it easier to adjust the shoulder belt so that it does not touch the neck.
  • Small adjustments in either the belt position or in your position on the seat can improve your comfort and make the belt work better in a crash.
  • Encourage others to wear their seat belt every trip every time.

Enforcement Initiatives

Through a variety of education and outreach programs, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) encourages all motor vehicle occupants to buckle up:

  • Promoting the use of seat belts through social media networks.
  • Engaging the support of private entities and local partners to conduct occupant protection educational events in their communities.
  • Working collectively with school district athletic programs to encourage coaches to promote traffic safety messaging with teens. Supporting these efforts with Battle of the Belts activities or occupant protection demonstrations.
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    Video "Battle of the Belts"
  • Using the Survivor Advocate Speakers Bureau to encourage seat belt use through presentations to young adults and tweens in school districts.
  • Engaging state, sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies to support year-round occupant protection traffic safety efforts.
  • Awarding Highway Safety Grants to police agencies to support the occupant restraint efforts throughout the year and during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization.
  • Coordinating specialized occupant protection enforcement initiatives such as Buckle Up New York in the Parks and the Summer Initiative that target low-compliance areas.
  • Reviewing data to analyze trends and/or identify demographics and locations where additional education or enforcement efforts are needed.