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

    • June 10, 2019
    150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

    Please weigh in or ask your local groups and representatives to weigh in to ensure that bills to extend New York’s seat belt law to include a rear seat belt requirement, A. 6163 sponsored by Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-57) and S. 4336 sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D – 38), advance to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for signing.

    Status:

    1. 4336: Passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.
    2. 6163: Pending a floor vote in the Assembly.  The bill has received a calendar number, #255, but it has not been moved to the debate list.

    The session ends on June 19.  The bills are identical so the urgent action is for A. 6163 to pass the Assembly before close of session in order for them to be sent to Gov. Cuomo who has indicated he will sign the measure.

    Urgent Action Needed:

    Please call Assembly Leadership and urge them to schedule A. 6163 for debate as soon as possible.  Contact information follows:

    Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie
    518-455-3791

    Speaker@nyassembly.gov

    Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes

    518-455-5005

    peoplec@nyassembly.gov

    Information:

    • Over 35 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in New York in 2017 were unrestrained when restraint use was known (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)).
    • Seat belts are proven life-savers 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).
    • 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 can become “backseat bullets” when unrestrained, imperiling all occupants.
    • 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.
    • 56 percent of unrestrained rear seat passenger vehicle occupants were killed in 2017 (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)).
    • A poll released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (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.
    • 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 (IIHS).