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New York police cracking down on seat belt law violations

From May 20 through June 2, 2013, New York law enforcement participated in a national campaign to raise awareness about seat belt laws through a special increase in enforcement of those laws. New York drivers face stiff penalties if they receive citations for seat belt law violations, so they should understand the state’s seat belt laws.

Click It or Ticket campaign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency charged with lessening the loss of life, property and money due to auto accidents in the U.S., has conducted its “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign for several years, modeling it after several states’ individual seat belt law enforcement campaigns.

In 2013, the NHTSA told local law enforcement agencies to increase seat belt patrols overall, but to focus particularly between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. because of the number of fatal auto accidents that occur at night. The NHTSA told officers they should be prepared to issue citations to drivers not wearing seat belts without giving warnings, and to not accept any excuses from drivers for their failure to buckle up.

Penalties for seat belt violations

New York requires all drivers and passengers in the front seats to wear safety belts. Seat belt laws are primary laws in New York, meaning that police may stop drivers for violations even if the driver has not broken any other traffic laws.

Failure to wear a seat belt can result in a $50 fine for the person not wearing a safety belt. Children under 16 years of age need to wear safety belts or be secured in an age-appropriate restraint system, such a car seat or a booster seat with a shoulder and lap belt, no matter where they are sitting. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers under 16 years old comply with seat belt laws. If a child under 16 years old is not wearing a seat belt or in a restraint system, police may issue the driver a ticket with a fine between $25 and $100 dollars.

The driver will also accrue three points on his or her driving record for having unsecured child passengers. If a driver accumulates 11 points within 18 months, the New York DMV will suspend his or her license.

Speak with an attorney

Traffic tickets may not seem like a big deal. Many people are frustrated by them, but end up paying the fine and forgetting about them. However, traffic tickets can lead to complications beyond just monetary loss; people may lose the ability to drive altogether if they receive too many tickets. If you have received a traffic ticket, speak with an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney who can help you minimize the damage tickets cause.

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