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Wednesday, 03 February 2021 20:28

2020 Seat Belt Law Helped Boost NY from ‘Yellow’ to ‘Green’ Rating in Highway Safety Report

Written by Mary Stroka, The Center Square

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Following the passage of Senate Bill 4336/Assembly Bill 6163 in 2020, New York received “green,” the highest rating, in the 18th annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report, which Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released in January.

The law extends the mandate that all vehicle passengers 16 and older wear a seat belt from solely applying to front seat passengers to applying to all passengers.

 

“We were thrilled to be a part of the diverse and large coalition that helped to get the seat belt upgrade over the finish line,” said Tara Gill, Advocates’ senior director advocacy and state legislation. “It had been many sessions and many years in the making, and this is one of the primary traffic safety bills that we recommend. It helped New York go from the yellow to the green category, which is fantastic.”

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the seat belt law in August 2020. Versions of the bill date back to the 2002 legislative session.

 

This legislative session, New York lawmakers are also considering lowering the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels allowed by law while driving to 0.05 (S131), expanding use of speed cameras in a school speed zone of New York City (FURIOUS Act), and requiring children younger than 13 to sit buckled in a rear seat (S440/A1086.)

 

“New York is a great example of a state that continues to make iterative progress to update and improve its traffic safety laws,” Gill said. “We look forward to continuing to work with state lawmakers to do so.”

 

Advocates also urges New York to postpone issuing unrestricted licenses until age 18, prohibit cell phone use in the graduated drivers licensing program except in case of emergencies and require...


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