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Nevada Seat Belt law

Nevada State Law Statute

Nevada is serious about protecting drivers and passengers in motor vehicles when traveling their State!

  • Any person who is driving and all passengers who are 6 years of age or older and weighs more than 60 pounds must wear a seat belt on any Nevada highway, road or street
  • All children ages 12 and under should sit in the back seat, properly restrained whenever possible
  • Any child who is less than 6 years of age who weighs less than 60 pounds must ride in a Nevada approved child restraint system


Nevada is a State that has a secondary enforcement law.  The police officer may issue a citation only after stopping the vehicle for another traffic infraction; a police officer cannot pull you over for a seatbelt infraction.


Nevada Fines for Not Wearing Seat Belts

To be given a citation for not wearing a seat belt in Nevada, you must be pulled over for another infraction since the seat belt law is not a primary offense. The fine for not wearing a seat belt in Nevada is $25.  If you are the driver and have a child over the age of six or weighs over 60 pounds not wearing a seat belt, you can be issued a citation.  If the driver and child are not wearing a seat belt, only one citation will be given.

The fine for not having your child properly secured in a safety seat is $50.00 to $500.00 or 8 to 50 hours of community service.  The violator must also attend a court-assigned 2-hour education program on the proper selection and installation of a child safety seat.  

Nevada is not enforcing this law because officials are tedious; it is to keep your children safe, so please respect the rules of the road that govern your child’s safety!


Who is Required to Wear a Seat Belt in Nevada

Essentially, the state of Nevada wants every driver and passenger to where a seatbelt:

  • Drivers and passengers 6years of age or older that weigh over 60 pounds.
  • Children less that 6 years of age or less than 60 pounds must be restrained in a proper car or booster seat.
  • Children 6-12 years of age that weigh over 60 pounds must be belted and riding in a rear seat. Be aware that people who do not have children of their own but are transporting children may not be aware of this law.  It is every parent/guardian’s duty to tell the driver of their children the proper procedures.

There are exceptions, of course, based on medical necessity.  If you have a condition in which a seat belt or safety restraint would likely cause more harm than good, you can be exempt from the seat belt law. Also, pregnant women are strongly urged to keep the lap belt positioned below the belly/abdomen area at all times in order to avoid serious injury to your unborn child in the event an accident does occur.


Nevada Child Seat Information

There are a few simple but extremely important suggestions that should be taken into consideration when choosing a safety restraint for your child:

  • Never use a child’s safety seat that has missing parts, no labels or stickers, or has been in a crash
  • Check the recall list and make sure the seat is not on the list
  • The seat must be properly installed to work correctly
  • Do not use just a lap belt across a child sitting in a booster seat that was designed to be installed with shoulder belts
  • Pillows, books or towels should not be used to boost a child up in the car
  • Do not let children put the shoulder belt behind their back; this will eliminate protection and increase the risk of severe injury


The terms and recommendations associated with Child Seats and safety restraints may at first seem confusing; therefore, Child Seat and safety restraint guidelines have been clearly established to help you decide on the best method of safely restraining children in a vehicle:

  • Rear facing infant seats should be used from birth to at least one year old and at least 20 pounds
  • Forward facing toddler seats should be installed in the back seat and are used for children age one and 20 pounds to age 4 and 40 pounds
  • Booster seats should be installed in the back seat and used from age 4 and 40 pounds to age 8 or until your child reaches 4’9’’ tall
  • Safety belts must be used for all passengers age 8 years or older or taller than 4’9’’ are required, and all children 12 and under should ride in the back seat using a seat belt if they have surpassed the Child Seat requirements

**Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in front of an air bag!**


Reasons for Using Seat Belts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts save lives.  It is that simple!  They are 50% effective in preventing fatalities in crashes in which motorists would otherwise die. 

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35.  America has spent billions and billions of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity costs annually as a result of car accidents.  When in an accident, seat belts prevent you from moving forward after the vehicle sustains impact.  Once the car stops, without the seat belt you would keep moving and hit the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield, sustaining serious injury. 

Remember that there are other people on the road.  While you may consider yourself to be a safe driver and have not been in any accidents, there are drivers out there that cannot boast the same driving record of excellence.  Bad drivers happen to good people!  So if you are hit by another driver, the seat belt could save your life.  Most cars do come with air bags but airbags do not replace seatbelts; they work best in combination with a seat belt or other safety restraint to decrease the likelihood of injury.


Types of Seat Belts

Imagine back when cars didn’t even have seatbelts.  How uninformed we were?  Now, most people wouldn’t even think of driving or riding without buckling up.  There are many different types of seatbelts and, from the time that seat belts were implemented, the engineering has only evolved into something far better and safer:

  • Lap – Adjustable strap that goes over the waist.  Found in older cars or rear middle seats
  • Sash – Adjustable strap that goes over the shoulder.  Used mainly in the 1960’s since it is very easy to slip out of in a collision
  • Lap and Sash – A combination of the lap and sash belt (2 separate belts) Mainly used in the 1960’s and 1970’s
  • Three-Point – Similar to the lap and sash but is one single continuous length of webbing.  This design helps spread out the energy of the moving body in a collision over the chest, pelvis and shoulders
  • Five –Point Harness – Found in child safety seats and, interestingly, in racing cars.  The lap belt is connected to a belt between the legs and two shoulder belts (5 points of attachment to the seat).  These seats are safer but much more restrictive.

There are seat belt extenders available for people who find themselves physically unable to properly adjust a seat belt or restraint to their height and/or weight needs.  These extenders can be purchased from the parts department of your local dealer and are not interchangeable.


How to Use Seat Belts with Children

Most children can’t wait to get rid of their car seat or booster seat.  It is difficult, however, if the child does not fit the outlined requirements.  For example, a child might be 6 years old but they might not weigh more than 40 pounds.  Likewise, a child might weigh more than 40 pound but are not yet 6 years old.  In both cases, the child must stay in the booster seat.  They might not like it, but they will be safe.

A child must be able to do the following in order to graduate to a seat belt:

  • Bend comfortably at the edge of the passenger or back seat
  • Sit with hips all the way back against the passenger or back seat
  • Be able to position the lap belt on the top part of the thighs and not the abdomen
  • Be able to center the sash belt on the shoulder and chest, not the neck
  • Be able to remain seated the entire time in the car

Children under the age of 18 are not permitted to ride in the back of pickup or flatbed trucks with the exception of farming and ranching activity, parades, or camper shells or slide-in campers.  Serious injury and even death can occur if you are not safely restrained INSIDE OF vehicle, so imagine the injuries that a child will suffer if they are unrestrained in the back of a pick-up truck! 

Using seat belts and safety restraints and properly transporting children is simply a matter of basic common sense.  Follow the simple guidelines outlined by the Nevada DMV and the NHTSA and ensure that you, your child all other passengers arrive safely!

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