We cannot begin to stress the importance of wearing a seatbelt while riding in a motor vehicle.
New York State law requires that if you are sitting in the front seat of a motor vehicle, as either a driver or passenger, you must wear a seatbelt. As the driver, you may be fined for your failure to wear a seatbelt. If you are a passenger in the front seat and over the age of 16, you may also receive a fine for your failure to wear a seatbelt.
Every passenger under the age of 16 must wear a seatbelt or use an appropriate child restraint system (such as a safety seat or booster seat). It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure every passenger under the age of 16 is wearing the appropriate restraining system. If violations are found, the driver may be fined up to $100 and receive points on his or her license for each violation.
Fines and/or points on your license may seem like a harsh penalty, but it pales in comparison to the injuries you may suffer if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and you don’t have your seatbelt on. People who do not wear their seatbelts will often suffer injuries ranging from facial lacerations, whiplash and chipped teeth to knee injuries, broken noses, paralysis and death.
We have seen clients’ lives change dramatically because they failed to wear a seatbelt. Something as simple as wearing a seatbelt may have allowed them to walk away from an accident unharmed.
Take your safety and the safety of others in your vehicle seriously – wear your seatbelts!