Seat Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws

What All Drivers and Parents Should Know

All drivers, especially those with passengers under the age of 16, should keep reading this article to familiarize themselves with New York State’s Occupant Restraint Law.[1]

New York is what is referred to as a “primary enforcement” state. This means a law enforcement officer can issue you a ticket for failure to wear your seat belt or to a driver who fails to make sure that a child passenger is properly secured by a seat belt or child safety seat.[2] This law also applies to out-of-state drivers.

Police checkpoints at highway on-ramps, toll booths, and other places are more prevalent than ever these days, and may result in unwanted tickets, fines, and points on your license for a failure to buckle up.

Key points of the law include:

  • All front-seat passengers must wear a seat belt.
  • The driver and front-seat passenger aged 16 or older can be fined up to $50 for each failure wear a seat belt.
  • Each passenger under the age of 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate, federally-approved child restraint system.
  • The driver must ensure that each passenger under age 16 obeys the law.
  • The driver can be fined $25 to $100 and receive three driver license penalty points for each violation.[3]

For more information or for a free legal consultation regarding any New York traffic violation, please contact my office.

Lorenzo Napolitano, Esq.
Phone: (585) 325-4445

[1] New York Vehicle & Traffic Law, Section 1229-c, available at
[2] See New York DMV Safety Brochure – New York Sate’s Occupant Restraint Law, available at
[3] Id.