What Are Nevada’s Car Seat Laws?
Nevada’s car seat laws are put in place to protect the lives of children and others in the vehicle. Children under 6 years old who weigh 60 pounds or less are required to be in a child restraint system while traveling in a vehicle.
A child restraint device includes both car seats and booster seats, but each device comes with its own set of recommendations for use. Drivers who fail to properly secure children in the car may face penalties. In the event of a car crash (no matter the cause of the accident), being in the appropriate car seat helps keep children safe.
When Can a Child Switch to a Booster Seat?
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) follows recommendations that have been published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Infants should travel in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, which is usually until they are one year old. Be sure to check the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits. When the rear-facing car seat has been outgrown, then parents can switch their child to a forward-facing car seat.
To stay compliant with booster seat laws in Nevada, drivers should switch their children to a booster seat when they have outgrown their car seat. Children are recommended to use a booster seat when they are 4–7 years old.
According to Nevada seat belt laws, children can use just a seatbelt only when they are big enough to fit into them properly. This is usually from age 8-12, and children should remain in the back seat at least until they are 12 years old. Below is a helpful outline of what ages children should switch to a different child restraint system.
- Birth–12 months: Rear-facing car seat in the backseat
- 1–3 years: Forward-facing car seat in the backseat
- 4–7 years: Booster seat in the backseat
- 8-12 years: Seat belt in the backseat
What Are the Exceptions to Car Seat Laws?
Although children are recommended to be in the appropriate child restraint device anytime they are in a vehicle, there are some exceptions to the law. Nevada seat belt laws don’t require children to be in a child safety seat when using public transportation, school busses, or emergency vehicles.
If a car seat would be harmful or impractical for a child because of a medical condition, then that child doesn’t need to be in a child restraint device. However, the driver needs to keep a signed statement from the child’s physician in the vehicle at all times.
Do Children Need a Car Seat in a Taxi?
Children don’t need a car seat to ride in a taxi in Nevada. Since the car seat laws don’t apply to public transportation, that means that they aren’t applied to taxis. However, it’s always smart for parents to follow car seat guidelines to keep their child safe.
Do Children Need a Car Seat in an Uber?
The Nevada Department of Transportation has classified Uber as public transportation, so parents don’t need to secure their children in a car seat to take an Uber. Although it’s not required, parents should use their best judgment to keep their child safe in the event of an accident.
What Are the Penalties for Not Using a Car Seat?
Nevada child seat laws are put in place to protect children, and so there are penalties for failing to comply. In Nevada, a first offense penalty is a fine of $100–$5000 or 10–50 hours of community service. The judge may waive the fee and community service if the driver completes a child restraining system training class within 60 days.
For a second offense, the penalty increases to a fine of $500–$1,000 or 50–100 hours of community service. The judge may halve the penalty if the driver completes a child restraining system training class within 60 days and the driver didn’t have the penalty waived for their first offense.
If a driver receives a third offense, their license may be suspended for 30–180 days.
The Nevada DMV doesn’t assign any demerit points as a penalty, but some auto insurance companies may increase premiums.
Keeping children safe in vehicles is a top priority, and the best way to do this is to be compliant with Nevada’s car seat laws. Drivers should ensure that children under 6 years old who weigh 60 pounds or less are properly secured in a child restraint device. In the event of a tragic incident, the experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can provide the compensation necessary to recover from injuries to ensure your overall well-being.