Albany, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The State Senate passed legislation Tuesday afternoon, amending vehicle and traffic laws by requiring all passengers in motor vehicles to wear seat belts.

Wearing seat belts saves lives. That is why we need to ensure our state’s residents use them.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Senate Bill S.4336—advanced by the Democratic majority and sponsored by Sen. David Carlucci—mandating everyone over 15-years-old to wear a seat belt, even in the backseat.

Requiring the use of a seat belt in the back seat will save lives and prevent tragedies. Numbers do not lie. If you fail to buckle up in the backseat, experts say you are two times more likely to be killed and eight times more likely to be seriously injured.

Sen. David Carlucci

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says almost half of the 37,133 people killed in crashes in 2017 did not wear their seat belt. Still, unless the bill passes, the iconic slogan “Buckle Up, It’s the Law” would not apply to adults in the back seat. This would be the first bill to compel adult passengers in the back to wear seat belts.

The bill still needs to progress through the Assembly before it would advance to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his signature, a process that could take months.