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New York’s Safety Belt Laws: Buckle Up or Pay!

The state of New York is referred to as a “primary enforcement” state when it comes to seatbelt laws. This means that not wearing your seat belt is cause enough for a police officer to ticket you. No other traffic infraction is necessary. Both drivers and passengers must wear their seat belts at all times. Failure to do so can result in a New York traffic violation.

Tickets can also be given to drivers who fail to properly secure a child, either with a seat belt or in a safety seat depending on their age. The fines that come along with this law are $50 for each incident. If the violation concerns a passenger under the age of 16, the driver may face a fine of up to $100 and three driver violation points if convicted.

Child Safety Seats in New York

The state of New York has specific rules for children up until their eighth birthday. The requirements depend on the age, height and weight of the child. Generally, children under the age of four must ride in an appropriate child safety seat which attaches by a universal child restraint system or a safety belt to the vehicle itself.

Infant seats are used for children weighing less than 22 pounds. They must always be placed in the back seat facing the rear of the vehicle. Convertible child safety seats are typically used for toddlers weighing less than 40 pounds.

The next level of restraint for children is a booster seat. Children that are four years old but weigh more than 40 pounds and children that are aged five, six or seven years old may use a booster seat. The booster seat must be secured with a lap and shoulder belt. Alternatively, these children may use a child safety seat.

The state recommends that children over the age of eight but still shorter than four feet nine inches and under 100 pounds be restrained using a child safety system. Once a child reaches four feet ten inches or taller, or weighs over 100 pounds, he or she can use a seat belt instead of a booster seat.

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