New York Seat Belt Law

36 Comments

In 1984, when New York became the first state to impose a seat belt law, motorists complained that the law diminished their freedoms and others argued that they actually made them less safe.  Now years later, most people readily embrace wearing seat belt laws.  In fact, it is surprisingly to me that some people fail to wear them.  I personally feel uncomfortable until I buckle mine.

The statistics are impressive. Lap and harness belt in motor vehicles saved 12,802 lives in 2014,  according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administraiton.

In New York, an adult seat belt ticket carries 0 points and roughly a $100 fine.  However, while child seat belt tickets carry roughly the same fine amount, they also carry 3 points on the driver’s license.  Yet we still see a fair amount of motorist ticketed for violating the seat belt laws.  Further, it is not uncommon for a motorist pulled over for this violation to be ticketed for one or more additional things.

Therefore, for you and your family’s safety (and to avoid troublesome tickets), do not forget to wear your seat belts.

The full text for the New York seat belt law is below.

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36 Comments. Leave new

  • Henry Dillman
    July 26, 2020 5:19 pm

    I received an adult No Seat Belt ticket (section 1229C3) while driving solo towards NYC on the Taconic State Parkway on July 5, 2020. According to the officer who issued me the ticket, No Seat Belt is not considered a moving violation and is equivalent to a parking ticket. Was he right about that?

    I know for sure that this violation doesn’t incur any points on my driving record. What I wasn’t sure about is whether the violation appears on my NYS driving abstract, and also whether my car insurance company will know that I was guilty of this violation. Even if the violation doesn’t incur any points, the insurance company will still hold it against me.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 26, 2020 6:19 pm

      Henry Dillman,

      An adult seat belt ticket carries 0 points. A conviction to this charge will appear, however, on your driving record. It will not, alone, affect your auto rates.

      Reply
  • I was visiting upstate NY to see my son, and on the way home was pulled over. I had no idea why!? The officer told me I was wearing my seatbelt ‘improperly’. As I am 5’4″, I have for 55 years put my shoulder restraint under my arm as it otherwise cuts into my neck. I have a completely clean record, and was told that a warning wouldn’t be issues as there is “zero tolerance” for such a thing. How does ANYBODY that this would be improper use of a seatbelt??? I’ve never seen a PSA, and it wasn’t addressed when I got my license. Three hours later upon arriving home, I see that on the ticket he wrote “No seat belt – Improper wearing”. I could find nowhere on the internet what the ticket price is, and it isn’t on the ticket – just a plea option of guilty or not. It states that the fine will be fixed by the court. My question… does anyone know this fine amount, and is the silly law really considered a “zero tolerance” issue? Any suggestions would be appreciated with any contact information that I might be able to use. Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 14, 2020 6:40 am

      Lisa,

      My suggestion is to start wearing your seat belt in the manner in which it was designed.

      The fine for this ticket is roughly $150 to $200.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was issued a no seatbelt ticket at a checkpoint in New York state. They took my driver’s license obviously but I was in a company vehicle. The ticket is issued to me with all my information. Is there anyway my company can find out if I just plead guilty and pay. I have another question but will wait to see if i get a response. Thank you for taking a moment out time. Have a nice night.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 10, 2020 1:32 pm

      Anthony,

      Because moving violations (such as no seat belt) are directed to your driver’s license (not the registration), this is not a matter of which the registered owner of the vehicle will generally learn.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I wonder if I could claim ptsd for not wearing a seatbelt? Could I get a note from a doctor? I was trapped in a seatbelt once before in an accident and am petrified of going underwater in a car and being trapped!

    Reply
  • As a grown adult I should be able to decide for myself whether I will wear a seatbelt or not! The decision should be mine!!! Stupid law giving police any reason at all to pull a person over for doing nothing else wrong!

    Reply
  • Anil Ghimire
    March 9, 2020 7:04 pm

    I got seat belt ticket in Manhattan NY. I was wearing seat belt but it happened to be below my shoulder at the moment. Police pulled me over and gave me the ticket for no seat belt though I was clearly wearing the seat belt. I have the video for the whole trip. Can I win the case?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 10, 2020 12:17 am

      Anil Ghimire,

      It sounds like you were not wearing it properly so this one will be tough to win.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was reversing out of the Starbucks parking lot and putting my seatbelt at the same time , before I started driving in the main road . I got pulled over and the cop saying he observed be when he was passing by that I was putting my seatbelt on and reversing

    Reply
    • Metita,

      Sounds like you are guilty given that you were operating your car in reverse without it on.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was in my car for three minutes going to work and the officer pulls me over. Like this such bs. people have jobs. Of course it 1/31/20 there giving tickets for free.

    Reply
    • Lewis Fitch,

      So sorry to hear about your ticket. The good news is that an adult seat ticket carries 0 points.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • i got two tickets one for no licensed and the other one for no seat belt they gave a a date until january can i go after the date or should i wait
    i also wanted to know how much it cost for no seat belt in NY
    i have my licensed now do i still will have to pay for it

    Reply
    • giselle cruz,

      The fine for a seat belt is roughy $150-$200. Getting your license after-the-fact does not provide a defense to your un-licensed ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was fine for obstruction of an intersection getting the green light but I got stuck in a traffic jam and I could not ever reverse . can i fight it w evidence

    Reply
    • Fernanda,

      From what you write, it sounds like you entered the intersection illegally (i.e., entering before there was sufficient room beyond the far crosswalk to accommodate your vehicle).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • yes, and i was stuck in a jam at a green light without an option to reverse and not do one of the things i don’t like ( obstructing an intersection)

        Reply
      • it was a green light and traffic was moving till i was stuck half way

        Reply
        • Fernanda,

          It is illegal to enter an intersection before there was sufficient room beyond the far crosswalk to accommodate your vehicle. If you follow this rule of law, you can never get “stuck”.

          Matthew Weiss

          Reply
          • if traffic is flowing and then you’re stuck at the green because of unforeseen traffic and unable to reverse,then ran up on my ticket agents fining to look to reach their quote. the city is about money and you seen to be a typical lawyer. excuse me but thanks for the info

  • Edward F Kelley
    August 19, 2019 2:34 am

    Hi –I am a C D L -A – holder licensed in Ma. —Saturday I was pulled over in New Lebanon N Y while driving my personal car for not wearing my seatbelt –ticket says –no seat belt –When the officer approached my car I did have the seat belt on as I put it in as soon as I noticed him coming after me –I have a completely clean driving record for 30 years — should I plead guilty or not guilty and fight the violation– thanks Ed

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 19, 2019 7:24 am

      Edward F Kelley,

      in NY an adult seat belt ticket is considered a relatively minor offense. It carries 0 points and roughly a $175 fine.

      From what you write, it appears that the police officer observed you not wearing your seat belt and, then, pulled you over. Putting it on as he’s coming after you is not a valid defense.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was pulled over for improper use of seatbelt but received a ticket stating “No Seat Belt Driver”. Can I fight this and win? Or just pay the ticket?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 1, 2019 9:24 am

      Janet,

      That discrepancy does not sound very helpful, in my opinion. Because adult seat belt tickets carry 0 points in NYS, you may want to just pay this one.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • maiker alejandro tovar reyes
    July 31, 2019 12:27 am

    TODAY I WAS WITH A FRIEND IN HIS CART I WAS A COPILOT AND STOPPED A POLICE AND I PUT A FINE TO MY NAME BECAUSE I DIDN’T POSITION THE SEAT BELT, WITH THE DATA FROM MY FRIEND’S CART … MY QUESTION HOW MUCH MUST I PAY FOR THE TICKET ?? … I CAN FIGHT IT … HOW MUCH THE FINE IS

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 1, 2019 9:24 am

      maiker alejandro tovar reyes,

      The fine will be roughly $150. It sounds like you are guilty from what you write. You can still fight it but it sounds like an uphill battle to beat this one.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • If the driver get a 2nd second no seat belt ticket dose the driver license get Point on there record. First no seat belt ticket was about a year ago?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 11, 2019 8:52 am

      Jose,

      A New York adult seat belt tickets never carries points (only a child seat belt tickets which carries 3).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I had buckled my daughters (5 & 7)in their car seat & booster seat. As I was driving passed an avenue a police patrol car was parked at the corner and as soon as I passed I hear the sirens stopping me. The officer comes requests papers and as I was looking for them he notifies me he has a body cam on him. So I continue to look for the papers. He then tells me “Did you notice your child does not have her seatbelt on properly?” I turn around and see she took it off and as the police officer stopped me she just placed on the arm rest instead of latching it on the buckle. (I was angry as you can only imagine)
    I later explained that she took it off I can’t do anything about it. He said that I should have her wear the over the shoulder harness, but I explained that I had switched it to the over the shoulder seat belt because she cries for the entire trip home (1hour). I have the ticket $138 &3 points. Can I fight this?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 11, 2019 8:54 am

      Glenda,

      You can fight it but it sounds like it will be very hard to win. Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Info on this site needs to be updated.
    Children under age 8 (not 4) need to be in a child safety seat.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 10, 2018 9:14 am

      Al Cinamon,

      Thanks for your feedback. If you read the entire text of 1229-c, it states that all children must be properly restrained (although the age varies in how).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply

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