According to statistics, about 22% of Nevada's fatalities involve persons who are not using restraining devices such as seat belts.
A small percentage of these fatalities involve child passenger crashes, which are accounted for by the lack of a proper restraint system.
Whether you are a Nevada resident or just a visitor, knowing and following the Nevada car seat laws is a must!
The Laws of Nevada
According to Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 484D.495 and NRS 484B.157, occupants of almost all passenger vehicles, both front and rear seats, must use an approved child restraint system or wear safety belts.
Nevada Child Seat Law
Under Nevada's Child Seat Law, any child under six years of age and weighs up to 60 pounds should be secured in a restraint system when transported in a motor vehicle.
The child restraint system refers to any device designed to seat, restrain, or position a child while riding a motor vehicle.
A child whose age lies between six to 17 years old or weighs more than 60 pounds must wear a safety belt when riding a passenger vehicle, either on the front or back seat.
Best Practices in Nevada
Children must occupy the back seat until at least the age of 12.
It is important to select the car seat based on the age and size of the child.
1. Birth to 12 Months
A rear-facing car seat should be used through age one until the baby reaches the manufacturer's height and weight limit.
2. One to Three Years
As long as possible, keep the child on a rear-facing car seat before using a forward-facing toddler seat.
This must include a harness, which should be used until the toddler outgrows the limits.
3. Four to Seven Years
After outgrowing the seat with a harness, the child must ride a booster seat positioned at the vehicle's back seat.
It should be used until the child is big enough to use a seat belt.
4. Eight to 12 Years
At this age, safety belts must be used.
However, be sure that the belt perfectly fits the child with the lap belt lying across the thighs and the shoulder belt not crossing the neck or face.
Here are some of the exemptions from Nevada's Car Seat Law:
1. When a child is being transported through public transportation, including a school bus, a taxi, or an emergency vehicle.
2. When there is a signed statement coming from a physician, which indicates the dangers and impracticality of using the child restraint system due to unfitness or medical condition.
3. When a medical doctor certifies that the child is unable to wear a safety belt due to physical and medical reasons.
4. When the motor vehicle is not required by the federal law to be equipped with safety belts.
Penalties for Violations
A violation of Nevada's car seat law has a penalty ranging from $100 to $500 and community service of 10 to 50 hours, on the first offense.
Second offenders will face a penalty between $500 to $1000 and are required to render 50 to 100 hours of community service.
The driver's license will be suspended between 30 to 180 days for the third or subsequent offense.
Nevada's law enforcement may not stop you from any suspected violation of the child safety belt law.
This law may be cited only if you have been arrested or halted for other alleged offenses or violations.
Car Seat Fine Waiver
The fine or community service may be waived for the first offense or reduced by half for the second offense if the driver can provide a proof of the training and inspection program facilitated by the Department of Public Safety.
This is valid within 60 days from the date of sentencing and given that there is no previous fine or community service waived.
The completion of this program may charge the violator with a reasonable fee, including the child restraint system's cost if provided or as part of the program.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is car seat violation in Nevada a moving violation?
A violation of the car seat violation is not considered as a moving traffic violation in Nevada.
Since it is not a non-moving violation, there are no demerit points on the license, as indicated under Nevada Law 483.473.
However, the driver may still pay the penalty and perform the mandatory community service.
2. Does car seat violation in Nevada automatically mean negligence?
A car seat violation in Nevada does not automatically mean negligence or recklessness.
In fact, the law says that this violation may not be considered as a civil action.
Also, under Nevada Law 484B.653, law enforcement won't be able to charge the driver with reckless driving for a car seat violation.
3. Can you leave a child alone in the car?
Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is considered to be a misdemeanor in Nevada.
As always, it is not a good idea to leave a child alone inside the car.
But the risk increases during summer months when there is a higher chance that the child will suffer from dehydration, injury, or even death.
Not to mention, children below four are more vulnerable to hyperthermia.
4. Can a child face forward in a car seat?
Nevada will allow children who are one year of age or older and weigh 20 pounds and above to sit facing forward.
5. Can an older child occupy the front seat?
As per Nevada's Department of Transportation recommendation, children should sit in the back of the vehicle until the age of 13.
Considering their size, younger children tend to suffer facial injuries when an airbag deploys during an accident.
Keep in mind that all children under 16 should wear a seatbelt, regardless of what seat they occupy in the car.
6. What to do if I purchase a defective car seat?
Generally, manufacturers are legally responsible when their products cause harm or injury to people. This also applies to the manufacturers of car seats.
Car seats tend to fail due to various reasons, including defective design or lack of safety instructions, which can render danger when used.
In any case, the child was hurt while using the car seat, save the unit as this can be used as evidence when planning to file a lawsuit.
Nevada's Occupant Protection & Child Passenger Safety Program
This program promotes the benefits of properly using child restraint systems and safety belts in vehicles, as well as its possible interaction with supplemental airbag restraints.
They also educate the public to increase awareness of Nevada's occupant protection laws.
Generally, the program is divided into three main categories, including:
1. Seat Belts
2. Car Seat Information for Parents and Caregivers
3. Child Passenger Safety Technical Information
For more details, please send a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them at (775) 684-7479 Fax: (775) 684-7482.
Buckling up is the most effective thing to do to protect yourself and your family in a crash.
It takes only a few seconds to achieve the goal of "zero fatalities in Nevada"!
Know the facts and know the Nevada car seat laws!