AAA Lobbying For Seat Belt Laws To Include Back Seat Passengers
A study recently published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives light to the lack of back seat passengers using their seat belts. Although a total of 91% of people surveyed say the always buckle up in the front seats, only 72% say they use the seat belt in the back seats.
Unfortunately, the consequences of not making use of the seat belt are often deadly. From 1996 to 2014, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that 886 people were killed riding in the back seat while not wearing a seat belt. Taxi and Uber riders almost always ride in the back seat, and with Uber being the growing phenomenon it is, back seat safety should be a concern now more than ever.
Seat belt laws are divided into two categories: Primary and Secondary. Primary laws allow law enforcement officers to give a ticket for not wearing the seat belt even if no traffic offense has taken place. Secondary laws, on the other hand, only allow officers to issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt if another traffic offense is being cited as well.
Only 18 states, D.C. and two territories include back seats as primary enforcement. In the case of New York, there is no law enforcement, primary or secondary, for people older than 16 years old sitting in the back.
The AAA is lobbying for lawmakers to pass legislation in New York that would require back seat passengers of all ages to wear the seat belt. Although the governor expressed his support of the idea, nothing has been officially approved yet.
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