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All buckled up | New seat belt law goes into effect on Oct. 1

All passengers will be required to be buckled up.

HARTFORD, Conn. — State officials reminded everyone on the road that a new law taking effect Friday requires all passengers to be buckled in.

Gov. Ned Lamont praised state legislators' actions saying, “Connecticut was one of the first states to pass a mandatory seat belt law more than 30 years ago, however it only applied to drivers and front-seat passengers.”

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According to state officials, between 2017 to 2020, there were more than 12,589 injuries of rear seat occupants in Connecticut. During this same period, there were 61 fatalities.

The new law is subject to secondary enforcement, meaning drivers can’t be pulled over just because there is an unbelted adult in the back seat.

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However, law enforcement can issue a fine for the unbelted passenger if the driver is pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding. The fine is $50 if the driver is 18 or older and $75 if the driver is under 18.

“Passengers in the back who use a seatbelt are more likely to survive a crash and less likely to injure others during a crash, unrestrained adults become living projectiles and are a lethal danger to everyone else in the vehicle with them,” Kevin Borrup, executive director of the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s, said. “This law is an important strengthening of Connecticut’s seatbelt law and making everyone safer.”

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Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.


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