It’s the law here in New Jersey that rear seat passengers have to use seatbelts, a lesson gubernatorial candidate and current State Senator Barbara Buono should have known.

First of all, for being in the legislature which passed the law in 2010; and moreover, since then-Governor Jon Corzine almost lost his life not wearing a seatbelt back in 2007 when his trooper-driven vehicle crashed into a guardrail on the Garden State Parkway.

State Sen. Barbara Buono, the Democratic legislator who is the foremost challenger to Gov. Chris Christie this fall, was not wearing a seat belt at the time of a car accident, and suffered a small cut to her forehead.
Buono was the only person involved in the crash who received medical treatment for injuries, police said.

Around 8 p.m., the senator was a passenger in the the backseat of her Jeep Wrangler on Easton Avenue in the area of Cedar Grove Lane, said Sgt. Philip Rizzo, a police spokesman.

The driver of Buono’s car attempted to turn, and collided with an oncoming Ford Escape, Rizzo said. The preliminary investigation has ruled that the Jeep transporting Buono failed to yield to the other vehicle, Rizzo added.

No summonses have yet been issued in the crash - but charges are still pending, Rizzo added.

When asked whether the senator received a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, Turner deferred to the township’s police. Buono's statement this morning offered the detail that she wasn't wearing a seat belt.

A new seat belt law went into effect in New Jersey in January 2010, “requiring all occupants to buckle up, regardless of their seating position in a vehicle,” according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s website. The new law allows police to issue a summons for a secondary offense once the vehicle is stopped, the office adds.

Former Gov. Jon Corzine wasn't wearing a seatbelt during his near-fatal accident while being driven on the Garden State Parkway in 2007. Afterward, he requested a ticket from the State Police. State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes Fuentes wrote his boss a citation, and Corzine paid for it with a $46 check.

While it is the law, we’ve argued time and time again that the state or whichever governmental authority shouldn’t dictate something that many feel is a personal choice for their own protection.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the law. If you’re involved in an accident and are not buckled in while sitting in the rear, you could become a flying object and cause harm not only to yourself but to whomever is sitting in front.

Senator Buono was the only one harmed in the accident in which she was involved.

I guess she now knows the lesson Jon Corzine learned the hard way almost 6 years ago.

And by the way, the law isn't just for us "little people!"