Trooper Talk: A look at child-restraint laws in Nevada
With the summer season upon us, the likelihood of seeing beach-bound vehicles loaded with unrestrained children unfortunately becomes a common occurrence.
Beyond the obvious safety concerns, it is important to realize that the punishments for failing to properly secure children are severe. For a first offense alone, you could be fined up to $500 and be obligated to up to 50 hours of community service for each unrestrained child in your vehicle.
NRS 484.157: A child less than 6 years of age and weighing 60 pounds or less to be secured in child restraint system while being transported in motor vehicle.
It is best to keep children in the back seat and to keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible (see manufacturer height and weight limits).
Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in front of an airbag. With child safety seats, proper installation is paramount; 7 of 10 child safety seats are installed improperly, which can render them ineffective.
Fortunately, free inspections are offered throughout Nevada, including at our local fire stations here at the Lake
An excellent source of information can be found here: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm
For a comparative analysis on child restraints: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Ease-of-Use
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 3 and over. When properly installed, child safety seats can greatly reduce the chances of fatal injury.
Ultimately, child safety should be everyone’s concern. If you observe an unrestrained child, please don’t hesitate to call 911 or *NHP (star-NHP) and we will do our best to intercept the vehicle. Please stay informed and stay safe.
David Callen is a trooper with the Lake Tahoe branch of the Nevada Highway Patrol.