Nebraska has various seatbelt and child safety seat requirements that vary depending on a number of factors. Younger children are typically required to use rear- or forward-facing car seats and adults may be required to wear seatbelts depending on where they are seated and who's driving.
This article explains the details of the different car seat and seatbelt rules and the associated penalties for violations.
The type of car seat or seatbelt a child must use depends on the child's size and age.
Children under two years old generally must be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system.
A child who exceeds the manufacturer's height and weight limits for a rear-facing seat can use a forward-facing or combination car seat. Generally, a child should keep using a forward-facing seat until he or she outgrows it.
All children under eight years old must be secured in a child restraint system (booster or child restraint system) and seated in the rear seats unless occupied by other children.
Until a child reaches 18 years old, he or she must wear a seatbelt and is not permitted to ride in the cargo area of the vehicle.
Any passenger riding in the front seat or riding with an instruction permit driver is required to use a seatbelt regardless of age.
A seatbelt or child restraint violation will result in a $25 fine. Additionally, a violation relating to children under eight years old will result in the assessment of one license demerit point.
While an officer cannot initiate a traffic stop solely for a seatbelt violation, a traffic stop is allowed if a minor is in the cargo area.
Certain types of vehicles. The seatbelt requirement doesn't apply to taxi drivers and rural letter carriers. Emergency vehicles and parade vehicles are also exempt from these requirements.
Medical conditions. A passenger may also be exempt if a licensed physician has determined that a seatbelt or restraint system would be harmful. However, documentation from the physician must be carried while driving.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation provides guidelines and car seat inspection locations to help parents properly choose and install car seats. These guidelines are not requirements and drivers should always comply with the car seat manufacturer's recommendations.