Law Enforcement Backs Cuomo Back Seat Belt Bill

Cuomo's proposal would require all passengers in the back seat to buckle up

Tom Puckett
May 15, 2019 - 4:00 am

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West Seneca, NY (WBEN) Just days after a crash claimed the life of a teenager, students are being reminded to buckle up in front or in back.

And now Governor Andrew Cuomo wants everyone wearing seat belts no matter where they are.

Police agree with Cuomo's bill to require all backseat passengers, not just those 16 and younger, to wear seatbelts. "Over age 16, people in the back can choose to buckle or not buckle," says State Police Trooper James O'Callaghan. "The problem is if that vehicle strikes another vehicle, those who are buckled in will be safe. Those who don't will come forward and cause an injury or fatality to people in the front."

AAA and the Medical Society of the State of New York are urging passage of the law requiring all passengers to wear seat belts when riding in the back seat.

Current law requires seat belts for all front-seat passengers as well as all passengers younger than 16 in the back seat.

The groups held a news conference at the state Capitol ahead of a possible vote later this week in the Senate, where the legislation is sponsored by Democratic Sen. David Carlucci of Rockland County.

Statistics cited by supporters show that passengers are far more likely to avoid serious injuries if wearing a seat belt, no matter which seat they're sitting in.

Just days ays after a fatal accident in the Town of West Seneca, a previously planned event on seat belts and safety was held at West Seneca Schools and took on emotional new meaning.  A Sunday morning crash took the life of South Park High School student Tyler Wackowski and injured five others, three of whom were students at West Seneca East.

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