A new seat belt law is set to take effect in New York on Sunday, requiring passengers in the back of livery and for-hire vehicles to buckle up.
The seat belt law comes after a decade of rear seat fatalities in New York. Over the last 10 years, 296 unbuckled rear seat passengers over the age of 16 were killed in New York state while 25,527 were injured, according to AAA.
“AAA and other safety organizations advocated for the new law to prevent the tragic toll of death and injuries,” said Robert Sinclair, Jr., senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast.
The measure extends the use of seat belts to virtually all cars in New York. An additional new law, requiring stretch limousines already on the road to have seat belts at every position by 2023, will take effect in January.
Unbuckled passengers in a rear seat are twice as likely to be killed and eight times as likely to be seriously injured when flung forward compared to those who are wearing seat belts.