The law says:
New Jersey’s seat belt law was amended on January 18, 2010 to require all adult back seat passengers 18 year of age and older to buckle up when riding in a motor vehicle. The back seat belt requirement is a secondary offense — a police officer may only ticket the unbelted adult passenger if the driver of the vehicle has committed some other motor vehicle offense. Belt use by the driver and all other passengers, however, is a primary offense. Failure to comply with New Jersey’s seat belt law carries a fine of $25 plus court costs and fees
Back Seat Safety
On January 18, 2010 legislation was signed into law requiring all adult back seat passengers 18 years of age and older to buckle up when riding in a motor vehicle. Last year, 73% of back seat passengers killed in traffic crashes in New Jersey were unbelted. Wearing a seat belt, regardless of seating position, is the simplest way to protect yourself when riding in a motor vehicle. A seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by as much as 75%.
In the event of a crash, unbelted back seat passengers become bullets, putting not only themselves, but everyone in the vehicle at risk. That’s because unbelted back seat passengers continue to move at the same rate of speed as the vehicle they are riding in until they hit something — the seat back, the dashboard, the windshield, the driver or another passenger.
According to a statewide observational survey of back seat passengers conducted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology in June 2010, only 27% of adults are currently using seat belts when riding in the back seat. In addition, the number of children and teens between the ages of eight and 18 buckling up in the back seat currently stands at 37%. Meanwhile, front seat belt use is at an all-time high in our state – 93.73%.
The vehicle driver and front seat occupants as well as all passengers under 18 years of age must be properly restrained in a car or booster seat, or seat belt.
The odds of death in a head-on crash are three times greater for unbelted back-seat passengers…even greater than for the driverCenter for Transportation Injury Research, State University of New York
800 lives and 65,000 injuries could be prevented annually (in the United States) of 95% of rear passengers simply used their beltCenter for Transportation Injury Research, State University of New York