Cuomo: State Seat Belt Compliance Hits Record High

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Governor Andrew Cuomo says the seat belt compliance rate for New York state has reached an all-time high.

This year's statewide usage rate was 91.09 percent.

The New York State Seat Belt Observation Survey, which was conducted by the University at Albany's Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), found that this year's seat belt usage rate was 91.09 percent, up from 90.43 percent in 2012 and 90.54 percent in 2011.

The survey was conducted at 120 individual locations in 12 counties where drivers and front-seat passengers were monitored for seat belt compliance.

In 2011, the last year for which nationwide statistics are available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that seat belts had saved an estimated 11,949 lives.

That same year, the nationwide seat belt compliance rate was 84 percent.

New York was one of only 17 states that achieved a compliance rate of 90 percent or higher, with a 2011 usage rate of 90.5 percent.

New York State's occupant restraint law was enacted in 1984, with enforcement beginning in January of 1985.

New York is a primary enforcement state, which means a law enforcement officer can stop a vehicle and issue a traffic ticket for failure to wear a seat belt without observing another violation.

Failure to wear a seat belt carries a fine of up to $50.

Monday, October 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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