Feifer & Greenberg, LLP

New York Seat Belt Ticket Attorney

Seat belts are mandatory and the laws have evolved to where everyone in your vehicle must wear one. Seat belt violations are popular ones and, like any violation, if you do receive a seat belt ticket you do not need just to accept and pay it.  If you feel that you wrongly received a seat belt ticket in NY or you’d like to avoid the consequences of the conviction, attorneys with Feifer & Greenberg may be able to help.

seat belt ticket attorney ny

We’ve handled cases involving traffic tickets for more than two decades throughout the state of New York. If you choose to work with a Feifer & Greenburg seat belt ticket attorney, we’ll put our extensive experience to work for you. Our firm has helped thousands of clients either have violations reduced or dismissed entirely.

Although we can’t guarantee a specific outcome in any individual case, we can guarantee you’ll have the highest representation possible. We’ll provide you with a thorough assessment of your case and will give you an honest opinion of what we think we’ll be able to do regarding your seat belt ticket in NY.

How an attorney can help

An attorney who regularly handles seat belt summonses should be able to help you decide how to proceed and increase your chances that you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. In some cases, an attorney can be the difference between paying for a ticket that ends up on your driving record and having that violation outright dismissed.

There are some instances where certain traffic tickets don’t require the assistance of an attorney. If so, we’ll let you know during your free consultation.

NY laws concerning seat belts and restraints

If you’re driving a car in New York – especially if you’re driving with children – it’s very important that you understand New York’s laws governing seat belts and restraints. Here’s some information to keep in mind each time you get behind the wheel with passengers in your car.

1. Safety seats and restraints for children under 16

seat belt ticket ny booster seat

Here’s a brief rundown of the child seat requirements for children under the age of 16. Always follow the recommendations of the seat manufacturer regarding the specific seat you choose. You can have your seat installation checked at a child safety seat inspection station.

  • All passengers under the age of four must be restrained in a “specially designed seat” that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
  • The safety seat or child restraint system shouldn’t be used in the front seat.
  • All children under 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat.
  • All children under the age of 4 must ride in a child safety seat that’s appropriate for their height and weight. These are often convertible or toddler seats and are normally for children who weigh less than 40 pounds, though the appropriate height and weight for the seat is determined by the seat manufacturer.
  • Booster seats must be used for children who have outgrown their convertible or toddler seats. They’re typically for children between the ages of 4 and 8, weigh 40 to 80 pounds, are less than 4 feet and 9 inches tall. Booster seats should be used in combination with the usual lap and shoulder harness belt, however, if the car isn’t equipped with the combination lap/shoulder belts or all the lap/shoulder belts are being used by other passengers under the age of sixteen, a lap belt without the shoulder harness may be used with the booster seat.
  • If the child is eight or over but under sixteen, they must use the regular seat belt(s) in the car.

2. Adult seat belts and restraints

As of November 1, 2020, all passengers aged 16 and older must wear a seat belt, regardless of where in the car they’re sitting.

Exceptions to New York seat belt laws

  • Emergency vehicles – Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in an ambulance or another emergency vehicle. Still, if you do, you aren’t required to wear a seat belt. However, emergency medical personnel are required to ensure that patients riding in the rear portion of the vehicle are properly secured.
  • 1964 or older vehicles – Automakers weren’t required to add seat belts until 1968, and many made before 1964 didn’t have them. If your car is 1964 or older and doesn’t come with a seat belt, you and your passengers are excluded from the laws requiring restraint systems because it would be extremely difficult to retrofit it with a seat belt safely.
  • Passengers of buses other than school buses – If you’re on a city bus, you’re not legally required to wear a seat belt. While the state of New York doesn’t require seat belt use on school buses, individual school districts can require it at their discretion.

Medical exemptions

If you have a health condition that makes it difficult to wear a seat belt, you may be able to obtain a medical exemption. However, a doctor must certify this exemption in writing on their letterhead. If you have a medical exemption, you must keep it with you whenever you’re in a car, whether you’re the driver or a passenger.

Penalties for no-seat belt violations

If a driver isn’t wearing a seat belt, they may be issued a summons for driver-no seat belt. This is a zero-point violation.

seat belt ticket penalty ny

If an adult passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt, the passenger may be issued a summons for adult passenger-no seat belt. This is a zero-point violation.

If any child (under 16) isn’t properly restrained, the driver may be issued a summons for child-no seat belt. This is a three-point violation.

Possible defenses to NY seat belt violations

Although there’s never a guarantee that a New York traffic ticket lawyer can get every ticket in NY fully dismissed, there is always a legitimate chance of success with seat belt summonses if the attorney is experienced with such violations.

The only true “defenses” would be a situation where a driver fell into one of the exceptions mentioned above.  Beyond that, an attorney would look at the specific circumstances such as how the officer made the observation, was it when the vehicle was still in motion or after a car stop, were safety belts and seats in the vehicle, how did he determine the age of any children in the vehicle, etc.  The officer is the one who brought this charge against the driver and it is the officer who must be prepared to provide clear specifics on the matter.

Anyone who consults with Feifer & Greenberg regarding a seat belt matter will learn a little bit about what we’d try to do in your case regarding defending you against the charge.

Will my insurance go up as a result of a seat belt ticket conviction?

As with any traffic conviction, whether or not your insurance premium will increase depends on a few different factors including your existing driving record, the policy, the insurance company, your age, where you live, etc. We’ve had clients who had insurance rate increases from both adult and child seat belt convictions.

Don’t assume that you’re excluded from an insurance increase just because you may be dealing with one of the zero-point seat belt violations. Violating the seat belt laws is considered a safety risk to the insurance company, regardless of the points associated with the seat belt ticket.  To put it bluntly, it costs less to insure drivers (and their passengers) who are not thrown around the vehicle or ejected altogether during an accident.

Why you shouldn’t just admit guilt and pay the fine

If you have any reason whatsoever to believe you shouldn’t have received your seat belt ticket in NY, or you are concerned with the possible consequences regardless of the individual circumstances of the incident, don’t hesitate to contest the citation.  One of our attorneys will provide you with an honest opinion regarding your case, the potential damages, etc and help you determine your correct course of action.

Our New York seat belt ticket lawyers can help

Feifer & Greenberg focuses our practice on vehicle and traffic law.  We firmly believe that the attention we place on this area of the law is a major reason why we’re often able to obtain positive outcomes for our clients and help guide our clients in a way they generally find helpful.

If you received a seat belt ticket in NY of any kind and have some questions about your options or the procedure for fighting, feel free to reach out at your convenience.  We’re happy to discuss and offer anyone who contacts us a free consultation regarding their ticket.  Use our online contact form or give us a call at (888) 842-5384.




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