NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Wednesday’s snow and the slippery roads helped make the case for a new proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo requiring adults riding in the back seat to wear seat belts.
Yes, New Yorkers are subjected to inclement weather at this time of the year. However, if you need a reason to fasten that seat belt when you’re in the back seat look no further than the frightening crash test video showing the “back seat bullet” phenomenon, where the unbuckled passenger becomes a projectile, with dire consequences, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
According to AAA, a person not wearing a belt in the rear is three times more likely to get killed and twice as likely to kill someone in the front seat. Add that to the deadly limousine crash in upstate Schoharie last fall and you have the reason the governor is now seeking a law to require back seat belts.
“We see that the most vulnerable individuals are the older teens and young adults who are less likely to wear their seat belt and are more likely to be involved with a fatality or be injured,” said Lauren Paterno, AAA’s director of government affairs.
Under the governor’s proposal, violators would be fined $50 for failing to buckle up in the rear seat of cars, vans, taxis, limousines, for-hire cars like Uber and Lyft, and other livery vehicles.
Some New Yorkers said they are not willing to tempt fate, while others are.
“The way people drive around here, especially in this weather, it may not be a bad idea,” said Damien Vera of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“I’ve always been a seat belt wearer in the back seat as well,” added Joy Bridenbaker of Rego Park. “Some of my friends think it’s not necessary, but I wear it.”
When asked if he wears his seat belt in the back, Luke Hogan of Long Island City said, “Yes, I do, because my mom raised me right.”
“I feel it’s a pretty good idea because you never know. It’s precaution and especially in New York City, it’s pretty hectic. There’s a lot of traffic, a lot of reckless drivers, so I think it’s a very good idea,” another person said.
However, Archer Irby of Greenwich Village took a different approach.
“No, I do not. No, I’m fearless. If an accident occurs I guess I’m ready to go,” Irby said.
Under the governor’s proposal, it would be the adult in the back seat not wearing a seat belt who would get the fine. But if a child under the age of 16 is not buckled up, the driver could get a moving violation, which is three points on your license.