In the Nevada car seat laws, all drivers and passengers in a moving vehicle must be in some type of restraint system, which includes car seats, booster seats, or seat belts, and the law applies to all types of vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans. Children under the age of 18 are never allowed to ride in the back of a pickup truck on roads and highways, with the exception of some farm trucks.
The fines for not keeping young passengers in your vehicle restrained start at around $25, but go up according to the type of offense it is. If your passenger is under the age of 6 and weighs less than 60 pounds, the fines can be anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on the situation. If you get caught more than once breaking these laws, your driver’s license can be suspended and in some cases, you can get charged with child endangerment.
When choosing the right car seat, always choose a new or barely used car seat that meets all federal safety standards and which is approved by the Department of Transportation. You should become familiar with the car seat’s user’s manual and make sure you abide by the age and weight recommendations it makes. If these numbers differ than the ones recommended by the state, it is safe to go by the numbers recommended by the car seat manufacturer.
Nevada Laws for Rear-Facing Car Seats
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised its rules for rear-facing car seats and now recommends that all infants weighing less than 20 pounds and who are up to 2 years of age use this type of seat. The seat should have a 5-point harness system and the top of the child’s head should be 1 inch or more from the top of the car seat.
Although you can leave infants in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 3 if they are small enough, this is not a law. As long as the infant is still able to be secured properly in the car seat, you can use whatever type of seat is appropriate for his or her age and size.
NV Laws for Front-Facing Car Seats
Once the child exceeds the maximum age and weight recommended by the manufacturer, you can start using a front-facing car seat. This usually starts at around age 2 and a weight of 20 pounds. Keep in mind that the car seats must be federally approved to meet safety standards and that you should always use them exactly as the directions recommend.
Once the child reaches the age and weight recommendations made by the user’s manual – usually 4 years of age and roughly 40 pounds – you can place him or her in a car booster seat.
Laws for Booster Seats
Booster seat use usually starts at around 4 years of age; however, not just any booster seat will do. Federally approved booster seats will keep children at their safest, and they should also be seats that use a standard seat belt – both lap and shoulder belt. In addition, the booster seat has to be one of the following two types:
- Backless booster seats: these seats should be used only if your vehicle has the proper headrests. Children’s necks and shoulders must be protected in the event of a crash, and this can only happen with proper headrests or with a booster seat that is full-sized and includes head protection.
- Booster seats with headrests: if your vehicle has no headrests or if the headrests are not safe for some reason, your child has to be in a full-sized booster seat that includes headrests. Children can suffer severe injuries if their head and neck aren’t well-protected in an accident.
Furthermore, if you get the right booster seat and your child has the right age and weight yet he or she still can’t touch the floor with his or her feet or can’t sit still long enough to take the trip, you should seriously consider going back to the front-facing car seat. There is no shame in keeping your child in a front-facing car seat for a little longer, and it will make you feel better that you are keeping your child as safe as possible.
Make sure the lap belt fits over the child’s lap and not the stomach area, and that the shoulder belt doesn’t cross the head and neck area. You should also make sure the child isn’t wearing the lap belt under the arm area. The seat belt has to be worn correctly for the child to be completely safe.
Height and Weight Requirements
Very few hard-and-fast requirements are set forth in Nevada car seat laws; however, below is what they recommend:
- Ages 0-1: rear-facing car seat
- Ages 1-3: rear-facing car seat as long as possible; afterwards, a front-facing car seat
- Ages 4-7: a belt-positioning booster seat that meets national safety standards
- Ages 8-12: a seat belt once the appropriate weight is reached; make sure there is a seat belt with both a lap and shoulder belt
Nevada Laws for Seat Belts
In the state of Nevada, all drivers and passengers in a moving vehicle must be in some type of restraint system. Since 1968, it has been mandatory that seat belts are installed in every vehicle that is made, so unless your car or truck was made before the year 1968, you are responsible for making sure you and everyone else in the vehicle is properly restrained.
There are, however, some exceptions to the vehicles, because certain vehicles don’t have to make sure the passengers are all wearing seat belts. This includes taxis and limos, public transportation buses, school buses, some large passenger vans, and some farm vehicles. Of course, these are rare exceptions, so wearing a seat belt every time you get behind the wheel of a car is the smart thing to do.
The state of Nevada also has checkpoints all across the state that offer free inspections of car seats so that you can be certain your child is buckled in properly. You can view these checkpoints by visiting the Nevada DMV online or in person.