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New York Begins Enforcing Law Requiring Back Seat Passengers Older Than 16 To Wear Seat Belts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York's new seat belt law went into effect Sunday.

The law, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August, requires everyone 16 and older to wear a seat belt when riding in the back seat. It apples to personal cars, as well as taxis and ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Anyone younger than 16 was already required by law to buckle up.

Back seat passengers caught without a seat belt can be tagged with a $50 fine. The driver could be fined, too.

MORE: Cuomo Signs New Law Requiring All Passengers Age 16 And Up To Wear A Seat Belt

Gov. Cuomo's office said 30% of highway deaths in New York are occupants unrestrained by a seat belt.

Studies have shown 90% of adults buckle up in the front seat, while only 76% do in the back, and even fewer wear seat belts in for-hire vehicles.

MORE: Buckle Up! Highway Safety Report Shows Frightening Low Number Of People Wearing Seat Belts In Back Seats

The legislation allows officers to make stops just for a back seat passenger not wearing a seat belt, whereas New Jersey's seat belt law is only enforced if the vehicle is stopped for another reason.

Thirty states have similar laws.


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