URGENT ACTION NEEDED ON A. 6163 & S. 4336: Extending New York’s Seat Belt Law to Include a Rear Seat Belt Requirement

  • March 2, 2020
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety



Please weigh in and/or ask your local groups and counsels to weigh in to advance bills to ensure all occupants buckle up by adding a rear seat belt requirement to New York’s seat belt law, A. 6163 sponsored by Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-57) and S. 4336 sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D).  In 2019, the measure was close to being sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and now have good momentum in the 2020 session.  The goal is for S. 4336 to pass the Senate before the release of the budget bills which are expected soon.

Current status:

  1. 4336: Pending a Senate floor vote
  2. 6163: Passed the Assembly on Feb. 12 (105-39) and has been assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee


Urgent Action Needed:

Please call or email the Senate Majority Leader’s office and urge them to pass S. 4336 as soon as possible.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Temporary President and Senate Majority Leader

Call: 518-455-2585

Email:  scousins@nysenate.gov


Talking Points:

New York Information:

  • New York passed the Nation’s first seat belt law in 1984; however, it was only for front seat passengers.  It is time the law is improved to cover rear seat passengers who become “backseat bullets” when unrestrained, imperiling all occupants.
  • Over 37 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in New York in 2018 were unrestrained when restraint use was known (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)).
  • Seat belts are proven lifesavers having protected the lives of 396 people on New York roads in 2017.  Yet, 41 more lives could have been saved if everyone had buckled up (NHTSA).

Seat Belt Safety:

  • When a passenger is ejected from the vehicle, their chances of survival are greatly diminished.  In fatal crashes 83 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed (NHTSA).
  • Restraint use greatly reduces the likelihood that an occupant will be ejected.  Only one percent of the occupants reported to have been using restraints were totally ejected, compared with 30 percent of unrestrained occupants.
  • 55 percent of unrestrained rear seat passenger vehicle occupants were killed in 2018 (NHTSA).
  • Unbelted rear seat passengers are three times more likely than belted rear seat passengers to die in a crash (Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)).
  • Seat belt use in the rear seat is vital as the safety infrastructure built into the vehicle is not as developed in the rear seat as it is in the front seat (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)).

A Rear Seat Belt Law Will Get Occupants to Buckle Up: 

  • A poll released by IIHS found that nearly 40 percent of people surveyed said they sometimes don’t buckle up in the rear seat because there is no law requiring it.  If such a law existed, 60 percent of poll respondents said it would convince them to do so.