Nevada Car Seat Laws

Selecting the right car seat and securing it properly are critical to keeping a child safe while traveling in a vehicle. Car seats are not only incredibly important in the event of an accident, but are also mandated by law in many cases. Nevada has enacted car seat laws in an effort to bolster child passenger safety. 

What are Nevada’s Car Seat Laws?

Nevada law requires that any child must sit in an approved child-restraint system when under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds (NRS 484B.157). An approved child-restraint system is one that is in accordance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and is: 

  • Appropriate for the size and weight of the child; and
  • Installed within and attached safely and securely to the motor vehicle, either:
    • In accordance with the instructions for installation and attachment provided by the manufacturer of the child restraint system; or
    • In another manner that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Car Seat Recommendations by Age

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) specifies the following seat recommendations by age, in order to keep children safe in vehicles: 

  • All Children: Keep children in the back seat for as long as possible, or at least until age 12. It’s always the safest way to ride.
  • Birth – 1 Years Old: Infants should be seated in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one years old, and have reached the seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits. 
  • 1 – 3 Years Old: Children should continue using a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Then a child can use a forward-facing car seat with a harness until the child has reached the seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits. 
  • 4 – 7 Years Old: After outgrowing the seat with a harness, children can use a booster seat until they’ve grown big enough for seat belts. 
  • 8 – 12 Years Old: Once they fit properly, children must wear a seatbelt. The lap belt should lie across the thighs, not the stomach. Additionally, the shoulder belt should not come across the face or neck. 

Seat Belt Tips: Children sitting in booster seats designed for shoulder belts should not use only a lap belt. At no time, should items such as books, towels, or pillows be used to boost a child.  Shoulder belts should always lie across the chest, and never behind a person’s arm or back, since it will eliminate any protection for the upper body in a crash. 

How To Get Assistance with Installing and Inspecting Your Car Seat

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a directory of many inspection stations, which can connect you to a certified technician in your area. The certified technician will perform a car seat inspection for free, and will likely demonstrate how to correctly install and use it.

Penalties for Car Seat Violations

The fines and amount of community service for violating the child restraint law will typically depend on the driver’s history of violations: 

Violation Fine Community Service
First Offense $100 – $500 10 – 50 Hours
Second Offense $500 – $1,000 50 – 100 Hours

 

First-time offenders may avoid penalties by taking a class that teaches about child restraint safety within 60 days of sentencing. If it’s the driver’s second offense, the judge may reduce the fine or community service by half. A third or subsequent violation will result in a suspension of the driver’s license for a period of 30 to 180 days.

Since car seat violations are not considered moving violations, points will not be added to the driver’s record by the DMV. 

Our Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault while your child was in a car seat, please do not hesitate to contact our office. A consultation with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer is free. 

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