Most of us already know that wearing a seatbelt is the law – and for good reason. The simple act of wearing a seatbelt can actually save your life. While this applies to all drivers and passengers, it is even more serious when it comes to children. While adults understand the true consequences of failing to wear their seatbelt, we can’t say the same for kids. That’s why it falls on the driver to ensure that all passengers – including all children – in the car are seat-belted in.
Although New York’s law essentially mandates that each driver as well as all passengers wear their seatbelt, many fail to comply. We know the potential physical consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, but what about the monetary penalties?
Penalties for a No Seat Belt Ticket
If you are issued a No Seatbelt ticket, you will also receive a fine. These fines are generally about $100 but also include another $88 or $93 surcharge. Although this may not seem like an amount of money that will break the bank, there are other financial repercussions to take into account. When you plead guilty to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1229-c (VTL § 1229-c), your car insurance policy will increase. This increase can actually cost you thousands of dollars annually and it’s unknown how long the increase will last; it could be years.
Additionally, each auto insurance company has the ability to review a driver’s driving history for up to the past three years. This means that even if you change your insurance company, it will still have access to your history and can increase your premium if it finds any violations of the merit system.
While a driver won’t incur any points on his or her license for receiving a No Seat Belt ticket, he or she will incur a 3-point penalty if the same is issued for a passenger.
Even those drivers who are from out-of-state can be ticketed in New York for a No Seat Belt ticket if driving in New York. This is because under what is known as The Driver License Company, states will share information with one another pertaining to non-residents. This includes traffic violation convictions. In other words, if someone from out-of-state is issued a ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt, New York will notify the state in which they reside. Then the state in which the driver resides will actually treat the violation as if it had occurred in that state, adding local laws to the offense as well.
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