Seat belts can save lives in car accidents, and we’ve all seen the signs that say, “Buckle Up, It’s the Law.” New York State police officers and prosecutors take No Seat Belt violations seriously, especially for children who are not wearing seat belts while passengers are in a vehicle.
If you’ve been charged with a No Seat Belt violation (1229c3) in New York, you face fines, increased insurance premiums, and potential points on your license. Working with a traffic ticket attorney can help you effectively fight the No Seat Belt ticket conviction. The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers have helped many clients get their tickets dismissed, avoid fines, and save money. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
New York’s No Seat Belt Law – 1229c3
New York became the first state to require drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts in 1984. New York is a primary enforcement state. A police officer can pull over a driver and issue a ticket for failure to comply with the seatbelt law without having another reason for pulling you over. As a result, if a police officer sees that you don’t have a seatbelt on, he or she can pull you over immediately and issue a ticket.
New York’s seat belt laws can be found in VTL 1229-c and VTL 1229-c(3). These laws require that the driver and any passenger in the front of the vehicle wear a seatbelt. Between 1984 and November 2020, only passengers aged 16 and older who were riding in the front seat of a moving vehicle were required to wear a seatbelt. In other words, passengers in the backseat weren’t legally required to wear a seatbelt unless they were 16 or older.
On November 1st, 2020, the law changed when New York lawmakers removed a notable exception. Now every passenger age 16 and up must wear a seatbelt regardless of where he or she is seated in the vehicle. The law never distinguishes the front seat and the back seat. Even if you are seated in the backseat, you must wear a seatbelt if you are over 16.
No Seat Belt Tickets for Children 16 and Under
In New York, every passenger under the age of 16 is required to use a seatbelt or use an appropriate restraint system, such as a child safety seat. Children under age four must be secured in a child safety seat attached to the vehicle by a seat belt or a legally approved safety harness latch system.
Children under the age of four who weigh more than 40 lbs can use a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt. Children aged 4 to 7 years old may use a booster seat or a child safety seat designed for their age group and weight range. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 must wear a standard seat belt. They can choose to use a booster seat if preferred, however.
Penalties for Seat Belt Violations in New York
The penalties for No Seat Belt violations depend on the age of the person who wasn’t restrained. When an adult isn’t properly restrained, the penalty is $50 with a $93 surcharge. In this case, the adult will not have any points placed on his or her license. Your insurance premiums will likely increase.
The fine for children not wearing a proper seat belt or child safety seat is $100 with a $93 surcharge. If you are convicted or plead guilty to not properly restraining your child, you will have three points placed on your driver’s license. Your insurance premiums will likely increase as well.
Long-Term Consequences of a No Seat Belt Ticket
The fines for a no-seat belt violation may not seem like a significant amount of money. However, the fines for seat belt tickets can add up quickly because no seatbelt tickets are often combined with other traffic tickets. For example, suppose you were running late to work and speeding, traveling 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. A police officer pulls you over and discovers that one of your children wasn’t properly restrained in the back seat.
In addition to a speeding ticket, you also get a no seatbelt ticket. Now you’re facing 7 points on your driver’s license, and you also have to be subjected to the driver responsibility assessment (DRA). As a result, you’ll face up to $961 in fines, assessments, and surcharges. At this point, if you’re convicted of another four-point or greater traffic violation within the next 18 months, your driver’s license could be suspended. Taking your traffic ticket seriously and working with an attorney will increase the likelihood of avoiding these penalties.
Why You Need a Skilled Traffic Attorney on Your Side
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers understand how frustrating it is to deal with traffic tickets. We also know how to defend clients charged with seatbelt violations in New York effectively. One of our attorneys can go to work on your behalf, fighting to have your ticket dismissed or to reduce your fines and points. You will not have to take time off work to appear in court and argue your case before the judge. We will do it for you. When you work with an attorney, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that we are working diligently for the best outcome.
Contact a Central New York Traffic Ticket Attorney
If you’ve received a No Seat Belt (1229c3) ticket in New York, working with an attorney can help you obtain the best outcome possible. At The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers, we know how to investigate and negotiate traffic tickets. Our attorneys understand the nuances of no seatbelt tickets and how to navigate your case for the best possible outcome. Contact us to schedule your free case review and learn more about how we can fight for you.