The days of hopping into the back seat of someone's vehicle and not buckling up your seatbelt are coming to an end here in Connecticut as of this Friday, October 1, 2021.

According to CT.GOV, beginning this Friday, October 1, a new Connecticut law will require all passengers in vehicles to buckle up their seatbelts, regardless of where they are positioned inside the vehicle. The new law was signed by CT Governor Ned Lamont back in July.

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The new occupant protection law mandates that all passengers in the back seat buckle their seatbelts. As the law is written now, only passengers under the age of 16 are required to put them on. That will change as of October 1.

The new law is subject to secondary enforcement, meaning drivers can't be pulled over just because there is an adult unbuckled in the back seat. However, law enforcement can issue a fine for the unbuckled passenger if the driver is pulled over for a primary offense. That fine will be $50 if the driver is 18 or older, and $75 if the driver is under 18.

According to Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti:

"Our goal is zero fatalities. Unrestrained passengers in the back seat can become projectiles in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries or fatalities. This new law will aid in our ongoing effort to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries. With an increased number of adults riding in the back seats with ride sharing services, this new law is a lifesaving measure for all Connecticut residents on our roadways."

Between 2017 and 2020, there were almost 12,600 rear seat passengers injured in Connecticut, with 61 fatalities reported.

Colonel Stavros Mellekas, Commanding Officer of the CT State Police said:

"The Connecticut seat belt laws are specifically tailored to protect 16 and 17 year old drivers, who statistically are more likely to become involved in a collision. Our troopers will be working enforcement to increase public awareness of the value of seatbelt use. The overall goal is increased safety on all Connecticut highways. It takes about three seconds to buckle up. Take the time to save your life, or the life of someone else."

Buckle up wherever you sit in vehicles Connecticut, the new rear seat seatbelt law takes effect this Friday, October 1.

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