Traffic Safety Laws in New York
Helmets are mandatory for all riders.
All riders under 14 years old are required to wear a helmet. Children between the ages of 1 to 4 years old must wear certified bicycle helmet and ride in specially designed child safety seats.
Headlights must be turned on:
- When visibility is reduced to 1,000 feet or less.
- 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
- Whenever using windshield wipers in rain or snow.
Headlights must be on during the day.
A white headlight visible up to 500 feet and a red taillight visible up to 300 feet must be used when riding between a 30 minutes after sunset and a 30 minutes before sunrise.
Cell Phones and Texting
It is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving. Hands-free cell phones, however, are legal.
Texting is banned for all drivers while behind the wheel. Using the phone or texting for drivers with a probationary license, Class DJ, Class MJ or a learner permit carry additional and more sever penalties.
Child Car Seat Laws
- Any child younger than 4 years old must ride in a federally approved child safety seat that's properly secured by a safety belt or a universal child restraint anchorage system.
- Children between 4 to 8 years old must be secured in a child safety seat restraint system. This includes safety seats, harness vests and booster seats attached via safety belts.
- If all safety seats are occupied, a child who would normally require a booster seat should instead be secured by a lap belt.
- Every rider younger than 16 years old must use a seat belt.
If you're in the market for one, you can shop online for a car seat at any time. When ordering, be sure the car seat matches your child's height, weight and age.
Reporting a Drunk or Dangerous Driver
Dial 911 if you suspect a driver of being drunk and/or dangerous. Provide the vehicle's license plate number, make, model, location and travel direction.
Reporting an Unattended Child Left Inside a Vehicle
If you harbor any reason to believe that an unattended child left inside a vehicle is at risk, do not hesitate to call 911. Remain with the vehicle until authorities arrive.
Reporting an Unattended Pet Left Inside a Vehicle
If you suspect that an unattended pet left inside a vehicle is in danger due to heat or cold, call the local police or animal control unit.