ALBANY — Not all vehicles are equal under a proposed seat belt restriction approved Wednesday in the state Senate.
The legislation expands seat belt requirements for adults in the rear of personal-use automobiles, but limousines, taxis and buses are exempted from the proposal. Passengers under the age of 16 are already required to buckle up or be secured in a child-restraint system regardless of where they are seated.
In 1985, New York became the first state to require drivers and all front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt. The proposed legislation would allow law enforcement officers to ticket an adult in a personal-use vehicle if the person is not using a seat belt in any seat.
Sen. David Carlucci, a Rockland County Democrat sponsoring the legislation, described the potential expansion as “the lowest-hanging fruit” and expressed an interest in pursuing additional legislation that covers exempt vehicles.
“It took three-and-a-half decades to get from requiring it in the front seat to now,” Carlucci said.
The legislation would also apply to ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft. Carlucci would like to see those companies adopt policies and procedures for drivers to follow to ensure their passengers buckle up.
An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found …read more
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