Breaking Down the New York State Child Seatbelt Laws

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New York State Child Seatbelt Laws You Need To Know

Why do child seatbelt laws matter? Ensuring that children have a proper car seat or a seatbelt can reduce the:

  • Risk of fatal injuries for toddlers in car crashes by 47-54%
  • Need for hospitalization by 69% for children who are four years old or younger

If you want to keep your child safe on the hectic Big Apple roads, you should get to know the New York State child seatbelt laws. The regulations differ by state, so collecting specific information is important.

Our helpful guide will present:

  • Seatbelt laws you must know about
  • Fines that come with not respecting them
  • Ways of fighting the unjust ticket

What Is the New York State Seatbelt Law for Children?

The New York State seatbelt law requires parents and guardians to ensure the following measures of safety for children:

  • Safety restraint systems shouldn’t be installed in the front seat
  • Safety seats, booster seats, and other restraints have to be attached to the vehicle seatbelt system
  • Child restraint systems need to meet the federal requirements and manufacturer’s recommendations for the size and weight
  • All front seat passengers need to have a safety belt on
  • Children under the age of:
    • Four—must ride in car seats
    • Eight—must ride in child restraint systems (booster seats)
    • 13—should ride in the back seat
    • 16—must wear seatbelts in the front and back seat

What Kind of Children Restraint System You Must Use in NYS

To minimize potential injuries during car crashes, you need to know what the best type of protection is. When children reach a height of around four feet and nine inches, they can use a regular seatbelt. You should make sure that the child has both the lap and shoulder belt on and that they fit properly.

In terms of the kind of safety seat that you should use for your child, follow these rules:

Type of Car SeatRegulations—Who Must Use Them and How
Infant seats
  • Infants weighing 22 pounds or less, who are 25 inches or less in length
  • Infant seats must face the rear of the motor vehicle
  • They mustn’t be placed in the front seat
Convertible child safety seats
  • Infants or toddlers weighing 40 pounds or less
  • Infants should face the rear in these seats
  • Toddlers older than two years can face forward—only if they meet weight and height requirements
Booster seats
  • Children of four to eight years old, weighing 40 to 80 pounds, and aren’t taller than four feet and nine inches
  • Children can use a booster seat until 12 years of age if they don’t outgrow it

Note that even when the vehicle has a built-in car seat, you should check whether it follows federal safety protocols.

Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) Programs and Initiatives in NYS

To ensure children’s safety on the roads, the State of New York has several ​​GTSC programs and initiatives:

Name of the Program or InitiativeBrief Explanation
New York State Child Passenger Safety Advisory BoardPromotes children’s safety and assists people in becoming a child passenger safety technician
Child Passenger Safety ProgramProvides training designed to share information on how to use the child restraint systems properly
Fitting Stations and Car Seat Check EventsOffers free car seat inspections at fitting stations to help parents and guardians choose the proper car safety system
Child Passenger Safety WeekPromotes the importance of ensuring that children are secured in a suitable car seat or seatbelt

Exceptions in NY State Seatbelt Laws for Children

In certain cases, seatbelts and restrained systems can be legally omitted. These exceptions include:

  • Having a physician's certification that a child has a medical problem preventing them from using restraint systems
  • Riding in an emergency vehicle or one that was manufactured before 1963
  • Having a receipt for a child seat that is purchased at that time and is about to be installed

The Fine for Breaking Child Seat Belt Laws in New York State

If you violate the NYS child seatbelt law, the penalties you can earn are:

  1. Up to $50 for passengers over 16 years old
  2. Up to $100 for children below 16 years old

Do Seatbelt Tickets Go on Your Driving Record?

New York is a primary enforcement state, which means that a police officer can issue a ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt only.

Not restraining children who are under 16 years old is a moving violation and can result in three driver demerit points. This violation will go on your record, which will affect your insurance rate.

Ignoring the ticket in NYS isn’t the best idea as the authorities might issue a warrant for your arrest. You can also get to pay additional fees on top of the one for the seatbelt ticket.

Disputing the Ticket—Is It Possible?

If you have a valid reason for not ensuring your child’s safety with a car seat or seatbelt, you can overturn the ticket in court. The argument can refer to one of the law exceptions, or you can resort to a due diligence defense. You can explain that your child unbuckled the seat, and you were looking for a suitable place to stop and put it on again.

Need help with building a strong defense case? You don’t need to throw money on lawyers. instead! Our app can turn your situation into a convincing appeal letter in only a few minutes.

The Fastest, Cheapest, and Easiest Way of Fighting a Ticket

DoNotPay makes your ticket dispute a painless process. You only have to:

  1. Open the app and
  2. Choose the Seatbelt Ticket tool
  3. Take a photo of the ticket
  4. Answer our chatbot’s questions about the violation

We’ll generate the letter based on the information you provide and send it to the authorities in no time!

When you decide to hit the road and head to Maryland or Pennsylvania, DoNotPay will help you make safety preparations. Stay up to date will children seatbelt laws across all states with the help of our simple guides:

MichiganWest VirginiaNorth Carolina
MassachusettsNew JerseyAlabama

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