Almost every state has some kind of law requiring the use of seat belts by drivers and vehicle passengers, as well as separate car seat laws for children. Nevada Revised Statutes require all vehicle occupants to wear seat belts or use approved child restraint systems. Failing to wear your seat belt in Nevada could result in fines and penalties. It will not, however, hurt your chances of receiving a settlement for your injuries after a car accident. If you have any questions regarding your accident, contact Claggett & Sykes Law Firm’s accident lawyers for a free case evaluation.
Car Seat Law: Nevada Revised Statute 484D.495
Nevada’s main seat belt law is found in the Nevada Revised Statutes, section 484D.495. This statute states that all children and other passengers must use safety belts or approved safety restraint systems while in passenger motor vehicles. Drivers and all passengers at least six years old or weighing at least 60 pounds must use safety belts while riding in the front or back seats of vehicles manufactured after 1968 that contain safety belts. Driving or riding in a vehicle without using a safety belt as the law commands is a traffic violation, punishable with a fine of up to $25 or mandatory community service.
Nevada’s safety belt law also states that someone cannot use another person’s lack of seat belt use as proof of that person’s negligence or causation for injuries in a civil action. If you were not wearing a seat belt in a car accident, the other driver cannot use this against you to allege that you do not deserve compensation, or to assert that your injuries would reasonably have not occurred had you been wearing a safety belt. Whether or not you violated Nevada’s seat belt law will not be relevant to your personal injury claim.
Car Seat Best Practices
In addition to the safety belt requirement for passengers six years old and older, Nevada has car seat laws for young children. A driver, parent or guardian lawfully must restrain anyone under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds in an approved child restraint system, with limited exceptions for taxicabs, ambulances and school buses. A child restraint system by law is any device designed to seat, restrain or position children in a motor vehicle. It specifically refers to car seats, booster seats and special seat belts designed for child passengers. The type of system appropriate for use depends on the child.
- Newborn to one year old. The child should sit in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the motor vehicle.
- One to three years. Once the infant outgrows the maximum height and weight limits on the rear-facing seat, the child should graduate to a forward-facing car seat.
- Four to seven years. A child passenger should transition to a booster seat after outgrowing the forward-facing device, until he or she is tall enough to use only a seat belt (usually 4’9”).
The penalty for violating Nevada’s child safety restraint system law is $100 to $500 in fines with 10 to 50 hours of community service for a first offense and $500 to $1,000 with 50 to 100 hours for a second offense. The courts must also inform the driver about a class on child restraint systems, which if the driver chooses to take will waive the fine and community service hours for a first offense or cut them in half for a second offense. A third offense will lead to 30 to 180 days of driver’s license suspension.
The car seat a parent or guardian uses must have safety approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Search for a DOT-approved sticker on the car seat you buy to make sure it complies with federal safety regulations. The seat should be appropriate for the child’s age, size and weight according to the device’s instructions. If you need help correctly installing or using your car seat, go to a free inspection station in Nevada for assistance. Avoid purchasing used car seats and booster seats, as they could have damage from previous users.