Seat Belt Laws

Do You Have to Wear a Seat Belt in the Back Seat in Nevada?

Yes, you have to wear a seat belt in the back seat in Nevada. Seat belt laws in Nevada require everyone in the vehicle to have a seat belt on no matter where you’re sitting in the vehicle. Even passengers in the back seat must wear a seat belt at all times in Nevada.

Nevada Revised Statutes 484D.495. The law says that everyone older than six years or who weighs 60 pounds or more must wear a safety belt or shoulder harness at all times in a moving vehicle. Each person in the vehicle must wear the safety belt fitted for their seating position. The driver or passenger may get a ticket for a seat belt violation. Law enforcement may issue a citation to the driver for a child who is not wearing a seat belt.

Penalty for Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Nevada

The penalty for not wearing a seat belt in Nevada is a $25 fine. There are no license points assessed. Failing to wear a seat belt is a misdemeanor offense in Nevada that goes on your criminal record. If you fail to respond to a ticket, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

A seat belt violation is not a moving violation in Nevada. It’s a non-moving violation. The State of Nevada does not assess license points for a seat belt violation, and they don’t suspend your license for it. However, a child car seat violation may result in more serious penalties. If both the driver and a child are without seat belts, law enforcement may issue only one citation for both offenses.

There are exemptions to seat belt laws in Nevada, which include:

  • The person has a doctor’s note that excuses them from wearing a seat belt for medical reasons
  • Postal employees delivering mail
  • Delivery drivers traveling no more than 15 mph and make frequent stops (newspaper or phone book deliveries, for example)
  • People using public transportation

Jury Trials & Convictions

No, you can’t have a jury trial for failing to wear a seat belt in Nevada. The charge isn’t serious enough for constitutional jury trial rights to apply. If you contest your seat belt charge, you can expect to have a bench trial in front of a judge.

However, you can seal a conviction in Nevada for failing to wear a seat belt. You must wait one year from the date of your conviction to begin the sealing process. If the court dismisses your seat belt charge, you can have the record sealed right away.

Defenses to Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Nevada

Here are some possible defenses to a charge of not wearing a seat belt in Nevada:

  • The defendant was wearing a seat belt; the police are mistaken. Substantial photo evidence will be your biggest advisary in the courtroom though.
  • There was no seat belt available in the vehicle, and the vehicle was so old that the vehicle is exempt from having them.
  • A driver or passenger has a medical excuse and a doctor’s note. Even a post-dated doctor’s note from after your seat belt violation can be a defense in court.
  • Police pull the driver over only to investigate the seat belt violation. This is known as an impermissible stop. The police can cite you for a seat belt offense only if they stop you for another offense (this is known as a secondary offense, after an initial violation of the law). If they pull you over just for the seat belt, the court should suppress the evidence against you and dismiss your case.
  • The state attorney agrees to dismiss the charges as part of a plea bargain to other charges

Should I Fight a Seat Belt Ticket in Nevada?

Because a seat belt ticket is a secondary offense, it almost always accompanies other charges in the State of Nevada. That makes it a good idea in nearly every case to speak with an attorney and fight the charges even if you think the case seems hopeless. An attorney may have ways to reduce the charges or win a dismissal that you aren’t aware of. An experienced attorney can help you address all of the charges against you with a comprehensive approach and legal strategy.

Can Not Wearing a Seat Belt Be an Issue in a Car Accident Case?

Yes, not wearing a seat belt can be an issue in a car accident case. The defendant may argue that you are responsible for some of your own damages if you fail to wear a seat belt. They can make the argument even if you aren’t at fault for the accident.

However, it’s essential to understand that you may still be able to bring a claim for compensation if the accident is someone else’s fault. An experienced attorney can help you understand how not wearing a seat belt might play a role in your car accident case.

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Nevada Car Seat Laws 2020

Nevada car seat laws in 2020 require drivers to secure a child in a car seat when the child is under six years of age and under 60 pounds. The law requires qualifying children to have a car seat that is appropriate for their size. The seat must be installed and securely attached to the vehicle. Once a child is either six years old or weighs 60 pounds, the rule no longer applies. Nevada car seat laws in 2020 impose a penalty of a fine or community service for first-time car seat violations with the option to undergo a training and an inspection in order to waive or reduce the amount of the penalty.

Booster Seat Requirements in Nevada

Booster seat requirements in Nevada are part of all child car seat laws. Children must be secured in a car seat until they are at least six years old and 60 pounds. The car seat must be appropriate for the child’s size and weight. A booster seat meets the definition of a car seat in Nevada. That means if the child must use a car seat, a booster seat can meet the requirement if it’s appropriate for the child’s size and weight.

When a child turns six years old, or when they weigh over 60 pounds, they are no longer required to use a car seat. However, the State of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles still recommends use of a booster seat until the child is at least eight years old and until the seat belt fits property. Some children may need a booster seat up until age 12. If a child who falls under the car seat requirements fails to use a booster seat or any other kind of car seat, the driver may be subject to the penalties for a car seat violation.

Clark County Booster Seat Laws

Clark County booster seat laws require children to use booster seats until they are at least six years old or 60 pounds, whichever comes first. A booster seat is only required in Clark County if a child falls in this category; however, booster seats are important to use until a child is able to correctly wear a seatbelt. A seatbelt should cross the child’s thighs. If the child is not of a sufficient size for the seat belt to fit properly, they should continue to use a booster seat.

Do you need a car seat in a taxi in Las Vegas?

No, you do not need a car seat in a taxi in Las Vegas. Nevada law 484B.157(7)(a) says that Nevada’s seat belt law does not apply to public transportation including taxis. However, even though a car seat is not required in a taxi in Las Vegas, it is always a good idea to comply with the State of Nevada’s car seat use guidelines.

Do you need a car seat for an Uber in Las Vegas?

You probably do not need a car seat for an Uber in Las Vegas. Car seats are not required for public transportation, including taxis. However, the law does not mention Uber or define whether it is considered public transportation.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says that Uber is among the categories of public transportation that is exempt from car seat requirements; however, their opinion is only advisory. While they may not be required, it is always important for the safety of the child to comply with age-appropriate car seat recommendations.

Related: Nevada Ride-Sharing Accident Laws & Liability

When can a child sit in the front seat in Nevada?

There is no particular age for when a child can sit in the front seat in Nevada.

However, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that children sit in the back seat until at least age 12. In addition, children should use a booster seat until the seat belt can fit properly, covering the thighs and not the stomach. The law allows the driver to determine when it’s best for a child to sit in the front seat in Nevada.

Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.157

NRS 484B.157 is the Nevada 2020 car seat law. The law says that the person who transports the child shall restrain the child in a car seat. The seat must be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation for the child’s size and weight. The seat must be installed or attached to the motor vehicle in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the manufacturer’s instructions. NRS 484B.157 creates civil penalties including fines and community service for violations of the 2020 Nevada car seat law.

Car Seat Ticket & Penalties in Nevada

Car seat penalties in Nevada range from a fine of $100 up to a fine of $1,000. For a first offense, the maximum penalty is a fine of $100 to $500 or 10-50 hours of community service. In addition, if the offender has a prior conviction, the penalty is from $500 to $1,000.

For a first or second offense, the defendant has the opportunity to complete child seat education and have their car seat inspected. If they provide proof of completion to the court, the court must cut their penalties in half. A driver can get only one sentence reduction for completing the training and inspection.

A third offense results in a license suspension from 30-180 days.

Car Seat Law Exceptions

Nevada car seat laws allow some children to have exceptions. If it would be dangerous for a particular child to use a car seat, the child may be excused from the requirement. In order to be excused from the law, the driver must have a signed statement from a doctor or an advanced practice nurse. The driver must have the note with them in the vehicle.

More On Nevada’s Car Seat Laws

Contact Our Nevada Car Accident Lawyers

Have you been in an accident? Is not wearing a seat belt an issue in your case? We’re here to help. At Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys, we help good people who need help after a car accident. We can help you understand your rights and your options. If you choose to work with us, we can help you pursue the best possible outcome under Nevada law. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.

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Adam S. Kutner

Adam S. Kutner Personal Injury Lawyer

With more than 30 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.