Governor Lamont, Connecticut Department of Transportation and AAA raise awareness of new rear seat belt law that comes into effect October 1

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Governor Lamont, Connecticut Department of Transportation and AAA raise awareness of new rear seat belt law that comes into effect October 1

Starting Friday, a new Connecticut law will require all rear passengers to wear seat belts

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office (CTDOT) and AAA today announced that effective Friday, October 1, 2021, a new Connecticut law will require all passengers to buckle up, regardless of where they are placed in the vehicle. Legislation enacting the new law was signed by the governor in July.

“Connecticut was one of the first states to pass mandatory seat belt law over 30 years ago, but it only applied to drivers and front passengers,” Governor Lamont said. “I applaud and recognize the efforts of those lawmakers and security advocates who have been pushing for the passage of this bailout for over 20 years. With this new law, passengers and drivers in Connecticut will be safer. “

The new occupant protection law will require all rear passengers to wear their seat belts. Pre-existing law only required rear passengers under the age of 16 to buckle up, although use of a proper restraint is effective for all ages.

Between 2017 and 2020, there were more than 12,589 rear seat occupant injuries in Connecticut. During this same period, there were 61 deaths.

“Our goal is zero deaths. Unattached passengers in the back seat can become projectiles in an accident, causing serious injury or death ”, Connecticut Department of Transportation commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “This new law will contribute to our continued efforts to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries. With an increased number of adults in the back seats with ridesharing services, this new law is a lifesaver for all Connecticut residents on our roads. “

“This victory is due to the hard work of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, my colleagues at AAA, a bipartisan group of lawmakers and more than 100 Connecticut organizations across the state, from first responders to medical associations. “, Alec Slatky, director of public and government affairs at AAA Northeast, said. “Riding without a seatbelt can lead to injuries that are as devastating as they are preventable. Everyone should buckle up – in every seat, on every trip. “

“The more we can get people in a vehicle to wear their seat belts, the more lives we will save, and that is why this law is so important. Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said. “I know this was a multi-year effort by a grand coalition of dedicated security leaders in this wonderful state. I know it’s been a long journey but I’m so glad you didn’t give up because lives will be saved. All passengers in a vehicle must be protected. All passengers must wear their seat belts whenever they are in a vehicle.

“Years of automotive safety research have shown us that in serious car crashes, occupants in the unattached rear seats experience what is called a ‘human collision’, in which they are thrown around the body. vehicle.” State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) said. “This new law will save countless lives, and I am very grateful to Governor Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Commissioner Joe Giulietti, the leadership of the Legislative Assembly Transportation Committee, including Representative Lemar, Senator Haskell, Representative Carney and Senator Somers, and all the scientists and advocates for their support in making this life-saving effort a reality. “

“The message is simple. Seat belts save lives ”, State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) said. “I am proud that after many years of advocacy we have been able to demand the use of rear seat belts for all ages here in Connecticut. The adoption of this law is an important step in helping all those who travel by car to change their behavior and to wear their seat belts. “

“Seat belts save lives in every sitting position in a car” Dr Shea Gregg, head of the trauma department at Bridgeport Hospital, said. “Today, public health, industry, lawmakers and the trauma care community are coming together to reduce the unnecessary tragedies associated with car crash victims unrestrained in the back seats.”

“Connecticut’s seat belt laws are specifically designed to protect 16 and 17 year old drivers, who are statistically more likely to be in a crash.” Col. Stavros Mellekas, commander of the Connecticut State Police, said. “Our soldiers will work in law enforcement to educate the public about the value of using seat belts. The overall goal is to increase safety on all of Connecticut’s highways. It takes about three seconds to attach. Take the time to save your life or someone else’s.

“Rear seat passengers who use seat belts are more likely to survive a crash and less likely to injure others in a crash, unattached adults become live projectiles and pose a life threatening danger to people. all other passengers in the vehicle with them ‘ Kevin Borrup, executive director of the Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, said. “This law is a significant strengthening of the Connecticut seat belt law and makes everyone safer.”

The new law is subject to secondary enforcement, which means drivers cannot be stopped just because there is an untethered adult in the back seat. However, law enforcement can fine the unbelted passenger if the driver is stopped for a primary offense, such as speeding. The fine is $ 50 if the driver is 18 or over and $ 75 if the driver is under 18.

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

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