HARTFORD, CT (June XX, 2021) – Do you buckle up in the backseat? A new law that will go into effect October first requires everyone in the vehicle to buckle up – every seat, every time.
AAA is applauding Connecticut lawmakers passage of the mandatory rear seatbelt bill, a provision included in the recommendations put forth by the Department of Transportation. The measure, which received strong, bipartisan support was signed by the Governor this morning.
AAA, first responders, hospitals, health departments and a broad coalition of traffic safety advocates lobbied aggressively for the new law which advocates say will save countless lives.
“This is a significant step forward for Connecticut in reducing serious injuries and fatalities involving unbelted rear passengers,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Given the sharp increase in fatalities on our roadways last year, and given the number of adults now riding in the back seats of Ubers and Lyfts, passage of this lifesaving measure is cause for celebration.”
Connecticut was among the first states to enact a front seat belt law back in the mid-eighties but it has since lagged the rest of the nation in extending those protections to the back seat, with most states requiring ALL back seat passengers to buckle up.
“We know that not everyone will buckle up just because it is the law, but we also know that there is greater rear seatbelt usage in states where such a law exists,” Parmenter adds.
According to UConn Crash Data, since 2010, more than 2000 unbelted back seat passengers have been injured or killed. And, passengers unbelted in the back can also become projectiles in the event of a crash, seriously injuring or killing those who are buckled up in the front.
Connecticut’s NEW rear seat belt law is only subject to secondary enforcement, meaning law enforcement cannot pull a driver over for an unbelted rear seat passenger. A ticket could only be issued for the unbelted passenger if the driver is pulled over for another offense, such as speeding.
AAA and its traffic safety partners will engage in a far-reaching public education campaign to ensure all vehicle occupants are aware of the new law and the need to buckle up in every seat, every time.