In the state of Nevada, the law requires that passengers in both the front seat and the rear seats of passenger vehicles wear a safety belt or, if under a certain age, be in a child restraint seat. (NRS 484D .495). Any police Officer or emergency responder will tell you that seatbelts save lives and they have responded to scenes where, tragically, life has been lost for failing to wear a seatbelt. In the event of an automobile accident or a sudden breaking, the car can come to a sudden stop. However, your body will keep moving in the vehicle until you are stopped by either something inside the vehicle or possibly even going through the windshield. Seatbelts prevent the movement of your body from out of the seat in the event of an auto accident. The following is the specific Nevada law that requires all occupants of motor vehicles to be in a seatbelt while they are riding in the vehicle. NRS 484D.495 states as follows:
NRS 484D.495 Safety belts and shoulder harness assembly; requirements for driver, child and other passenger; penalties; exemptions. [Effective until the date the Federal Government rescinds the requirement for the installation of automatic restraints in new private passenger motor vehicles, if that action is based upon the enactment or continued operation of certain amendatory and transitory provisions contained in chapter 480, Statutes of Nevada 1987.]
1. It is unlawful to drive a passenger car manufactured after:
(a) January 1, 1968, on a highway unless it is equipped with at least two lap-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.
(b) January 1, 1970, on a highway unless it is equipped with a lap-type safety belt assembly for each permanent seating position for passengers. This requirement does not apply to the rear seats of vehicles operated by a police department or sheriff’s office.
(c) January 1, 1970, unless it is equipped with at least two shoulder-harness-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.
2. Any person driving, and any passenger who:
(a) Is 6 years of age or older; or
(b) Weighs more than 60 pounds, regardless of age,
who rides in the front or back seat of any vehicle described in subsection 1, having an unladen weight of less than 10,000 pounds, on any highway, road or street in this State shall wear a safety belt if one is available for the seating position of the person or passenger.
3. A citation must be issued to any driver or to any adult passenger who fails to wear a safety belt as required by subsection 2. If the passenger is a child who:
(a) Is 6 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, regardless of weight; or
(b) Is less than 6 years of age but who weighs more than 60 pounds,
a citation must be issued to the driver for failing to require that child to wear the safety belt, but if both the driver and that child are not wearing safety belts, only one citation may be issued to the driver for both violations. A citation may be issued pursuant to this subsection only if the violation is discovered when the vehicle is halted or its driver arrested for another alleged violation or offense. Any person who violates the provisions of subsection 2 shall be punished by a fine of not more than $25 or by a sentence to perform a certain number of hours of community service.
4. A violation of subsection 2:
(a) Is not a moving traffic violation under NRS 483.473.
(b) May not be considered as negligence or as causation in any civil action or as negligent or reckless driving under NRS 484B.653.
(c) May not be considered as misuse or abuse of a product or as causation in any action brought to recover damages for injury to a person or property resulting from the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of a product.
5. The Department shall exempt those types of motor vehicles or seating positions from the requirements of subsection 1 when compliance would be impractical.
6. The provisions of subsections 2 and 3 do not apply:
(a) To a driver or passenger who possesses a written statement by a physician or an advanced practice registered nurse certifying that the driver or passenger is unable to wear a safety belt for medical or physical reasons;
(b) If the vehicle is not required by federal law to be equipped with safety belts;
(c) To an employee of the United States Postal Service while delivering mail in the rural areas of this State;
(d) If the vehicle is stopping frequently, the speed of that vehicle does not exceed 15 miles per hour between stops and the driver or passenger is frequently leaving the vehicle or delivering property from the vehicle; or
(e) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 484D.500, to a passenger riding in a means of public transportation, including a school bus or emergency vehicle.
7. It is unlawful for any person to distribute, have for sale, offer for sale or sell any safety belt or shoulder harness assembly for use in a motor vehicle unless it meets current minimum standards and specifications of the United States Department of Transportation.
Back Seat Passengers
The statute is clear that you must wear your seatbelt no matter where you are located in the vehicle. Everyone sitting in the vehicle who is not a minor child is required to wear a seatbelt at all times in the state of Nevada. The law does not specifically address front seat or backseat, it is simply stating that everyone who is six years or older or weighs more than 60 pounds is required to wear a seatbelt at all times when they are in a vehicle that is moving. In fact, the driver can get a ticket for a violation of the seatbelt law if any of the passengers are not seat belted properly.
The penalty in Nevada for not wearing a seatbelt is not extreme and unfortunately, may not be that big of a deterrent for people to follow the law. There is a fine that will be imposed of $25 for failing to wear your seatbelt. However, no points are assessed against your license that would impact insurance rates and your DMV driving record. It is basically a nonmoving violation. Considering the extraordinary importance and ability of seatbelts to save lives and prevent serious bodily harm, it is sad that our state legislature chose to only make the failure to wear a seatbelt a minor infraction that does not impact your record or does not come with any significant fine. Therefore, although it is the law to wear the seatbelt many people still choose not to follow it. At the law offices of TheOneLawyer.com we urge all our readers to always wear a seatbelt when in a moving vehicle. We have sadly witnessed the consequences of failure to wear seatbelts resulting in extraordinary bodily harm and even death.
There are several exemptions for people who drive for a living and make a lot of stops that do not have to wear a seatbelt based upon the requirements of their job. These exceptions include postal employees who are delivering the mail or delivery drivers that make frequent stops and do not exceed 15 miles an hour in between the stops such as newspaper delivery people etc. You can also obtain a note from a doctor, which I do not believe a doctor should issue lightly, that would exempt you from wearing a seatbelt if there were any medical reasons. Finally, people using public transportation are not required to use seatbelts and generally public transportation is not equipped with seatbelts.
Civil liability for injury
Although the statute noted above in section 4 states that non-use of a seatbelt cannot be considered as negligence or causation in any civil action, insurance companies will often try to argue that failure to wear your seatbelt caused your own injury. Do not put yourself in that situation or subject yourself to injury that did not need to happen. Always, always wear your seatbelt.
At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law. If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.
At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.
At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family-owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.