Nebraska Car Seat Laws in 2021

In Nebraska law, a child under two years old must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system, a child between two and seven years old must be secured in a correctly installed child passenger restraint system, and a child between eight and seventeen years old must use an occupant protection system when being transported in a motor vehicle required to have an occupant protection system or three-point safety belt system. 

A 1973 year model or later motor vehicle operated on any Nebraska highway, road, or street must be equipped with an occupant protection system, a system for restraining drivers and passengers using a lap belt, a shoulder belt, or a combination of belts installed in a motor vehicle. 

An occupant protection system must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or at least comply with applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards for passenger restraint systems for the motor vehicle’s model year. A three-point safety belt system is a system installed to restrain drivers and passengers which uses a combination of a lap belt and a shoulder belt.

Babies and Children Up to Two Years Old

A child under two years old must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system until he or she outgrows the manufacturer’s maximum height or weight. The system must be correctly installed and meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. A child under two years old must not be in the front seat unless all other seats are occupied by children under eight years old.

Children Two to Seven Years Old

A child between two and seven years old must be secured in a correctly installed child passenger restraint system meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. A child between two and seven years old must not be seated in the front seat unless all other seats are occupied by children under eight years old.

Children Eight to Seventeen Years Old

A child between eight and seventeen years old must use an occupant protection system when being transported in a motor vehicle required to have an occupant protection system or three-point safety belt system.

Penalties for Violations

A violation of Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws is a traffic infraction. You may be fined $25.00 for each infraction. You will be assessed only one violation for each time you are stopped, regardless of how many people in the motor vehicle are in violation. You will not be assessed court costs or points on your driving record for a violation.

Law Enforcement May Not Stop Your Vehicle for a Suspected Violation

You may only be charged with a violation of Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws as a secondary action when you have been cited or charged with another violation or offense, unless your violation involves allowing a person under eighteen years old to ride in or on any portion of your motor vehicle which is not designed or intended for passenger use when the motor vehicle is moving.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt from Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws if he or she is being transported in a motor vehicle which is not equipped with an occupant protection system or is not required to be equipped with a restraint system by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Your child may be exempt from Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws if he or she is being transported in an authorized emergency vehicle, taxicab, bus, in a 1963 model year or earlier motor vehicle which is not equipped with an occupant protection system, or on a moped, motor-driven cycle, motorcycle, farm tractor, or other farm equipment.

Your child may be exempt from Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws if he or she is being transported in a motor vehicle in a parade or exhibition conducted according to local and state law.

Your child may be exempt from Nebraska’s child passenger restraint system, occupant protection system, or three-point safety belt system laws if you have a signed written statement from a licensed physician identifying your child, stating that use of a child passenger restraint system would harm your child because of his or her weight, physical condition, or for another medical reason according to accepted medical procedures, and providing the grounds for the exemption.

Your child may be exempt from Nebraska’s occupant protection system or three-point safety belt system laws if you have written verification from a physician that your child is unable to wear an occupant protection system or a three-point safety belt system for medical reasons.

* Ms. Blake is licensed in the state of Maryland. The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Attorney Denise A. Blake*

Denise practices family law at Blake Law, LLC in Westminster, Maryland. She holds a Juris Doctor with an emphasis in Family Law from the University of Baltimore School of Law.