It is common knowledge that it is not just a necessity but mandatory that very young children be secured in a car seat whenever traveling by vehicle. This is the only way to keep babies and small children safe. Not all adults, however, are aware of the differences between a car seat and a booster seat and that the latter is critical to the safety of children. A car seat, on one hand, has a five-point harness that straps across the child or baby’s chest for safety. A booster seat, on the other hand, lifts a child so that he or she can safely use the vehicle’s seat belt because its shoulder and belt strap will be held in the right place.
Under Nevada law, there are specific guidelines on how long a minor child should be in a car seat, transition to a booster seat, and finally not use either. Nevada drivers can face steep penalties if they fail to properly secure child passengers. Below is a brief description of Nevada’s booster seat laws, so you can make sure you and your loved ones stay safe on the road.
Requirements for Booster Seats
State car seat laws encompass requirements for booster seats. Nevada mandates that drivers secure a minor child age 6 or younger and weighing less than 60 pounds in a state-approved child restraint system. Once the child weighs over 60 pounds or is older than 6, Nevada’s child restraint laws no longer apply. That being said, Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles (“NDMV”) strongly suggests that drivers keep children in a booster seat until the age of 8 (at a minimum) and no later than the age of 12. This is generally the time during which a child grows enough to safely wear a seat belt without the need of a booster seat.
Nonetheless, there are exceptions under Nevada’s booster seat laws. First, if the minor child is using public transportation – such as a taxi, bus, or emergency vehicle — a child restraint system is not necessary. Second, if the child has a medical reason prohibiting the use of a booster seat, then use of one is not necessary. In such a scenario, however, a licensed healthcare provider will have to determine based on weight, physical fitness, and medical condition whether a booster seat is not safe for the child. If the medical provider determines a booster seat is unsafe, the driver must have a statement signed by the physician while transporting the child.
Keeping Children Safe
Infants and young toddlers should be secured in a car seat when traveling as passengers in vehicles. These children should be facing the backseat until, according to the seat’s specifications, they are tall and/or heavy enough to face them forward. Once a child is around four years of age, he or she can transition to a booster seat. The child should remain in a booster seat until he or she turns six, at a minimum, or the car seat’s belt fits properly. Fitting properly means the shoulder strap sits on their shoulder (not neck) and the lap belt sits on their upper thighs (not stomach). When a child is secured into a booster seat, both the shoulder and lap belts must be used to strap the child in.
Know Your Rights
If you are involved in a Nevada accident with your children or other passengers, be sure to first tend to the medical needs of any crash victims. Then, contact the attorneys at H&P Law. With years of experience in and out of the courtroom, we will fight for the monetary compensation you and your loved ones deserve.