TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey legislation was signed into law Jan. 18 requiring all vehicle occupants to use seat belts, regardless of their seating position in a vehicle.
A secondary offense, the new law allows police to issue summonses to unbuckled back seat occupants, 18 years of age and older, when the vehicle they are riding in is stopped for another violation.
The law is effective immediately. Previously, state law exempted adults riding in rear seats from seat belt requirements.
The legislation was signed into law by Jon Corzine, just one day before his term as governor ended. New Jersey's new governor is Chris Christie.
Former Gov. Corzine had a strong personal interest in the legislation. He wasn't wearing a seat belt while riding in a state police-driven SUV that crashed in April 2007. During the crash, he sustained 15 broken bones. He spent nearly three weeks in a hospital after the accident, much of that time in critical care.