Let's start right off with the fact that wearing a seat belt belt for drivers and passengers in the front seat is the law in all but one state.

You know I'm talking about the Live Free or Die state that is New Hampshire where there is no seat belt law at all. Wear it, don't wear it, it's totally up to you and that includes the backseat.

But what about the backseat in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, or Connecticut? Do you even put yours on? With how much we cross state lines it's good to know.

Federal seat belt laws only deal with car manufacturers so federal law means every seat in a car driven in the United States needs a safety belt by that law. However each state gets to decide if it's illegal to wear one or not according to the Drive Safe Online website, and that includes front seat versus backseat.

As we already know, New York as well as every state in New England except New Hampshire has a law on the books saying wearing a seatbelt when driving or riding in the passenger seat is mandatory.

However, things change in the backseat state by state.

According to the Government Highway Safety Association website, 40 states require you to wear your seat belt while riding the in the backseat of a vehicle. Obviously this means these 10 states are just fine if you don't wear one in the backseat.

However, from that list you'll see it's law to wear a seat belt in the backseat in New York as well as every state in New England except New Hampshire.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio

Meanwhile, those New England states that enforce backseat safety belts have primary or secondary enforcement laws as does New York.

Primary means you can be pulled over if a police officer notices your backseat passenger isn't buckled up according to Drive Safe Online. These include New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont if you're under 18.

Vermont if you're 18+ and Massachusetts are secondary. That means you can't get pulled over if your backseat passenger isn't wearing one, but if you're pulled over for another reason and your passenger in the backseat isn't buckled in then that can be added to your violations.

If you want to see where all states stand then click here.

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