Whether or not you are driving, it is important to your safety that everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt at all times. Before the car starts moving, the driver should make sure that all of the riders in the car have their seat belt on and keep it on until the driver has reached the destination. Under Nevada Law, driving or riding in a motor vehicle without wearing a seat belt carries a $25 civil penalty with no demerit points. Additionally, a first-time offense of not properly securing a child in a car seat can result in a $500 fine or 50 community service hours.
Seat Belt Penalties
In Nevada, failing to wear a seat belt results in a misdemeanor offense with up to a $25 fine. Failing to wear a seat belt is considered a non-moving offense, meaning that you will not gain any demerit points on your record and you cannot receive license suspension. But, if you do not respond and pay your ticket, you may have a bench warrant issued for your arrest. The police are not permitted to pull you over primarily for not wearing a seatbelt; you must already have been stopped by the police for another traffic violation. However, there are specific seatbelt expectations for children under the age of 6 and under 60 pounds. The punishment for not having a child properly fastened in a child restraint system, such as a car seat, is much more serious than an adult failing to be properly fastened.
First-time citation results in a $100 to $500 fine, or 10 to 50 community service hours.
Second-time citation results in a $500 to $1,000 fine, or 50 to 100 community service hours.
Third-time or more citation results in a 30- to 180-day license suspension.
If the defendant partakes in a court-approved two-hour child seat education program, the punishment may get reduced. If it is a first-time citation, the judge will typically dismiss the charge. If it is a second-time citation, the judge will typically cut the fine or community service hours in half. Overall, the charges may get dismissed, but it depends on the case or even the defendant’s criminal history.
Bed of Truck Laws
Passengers are legally allowed in Nevada to ride in the bed of either a flatbed or pickup truck, with certain exceptions. Any such passenger must be 18 years or older, or the trust must be being used for farming or ranching. Penalties for violating the bed of truck laws are harsher than a standard seatbelt penalty, but lighter than child seat belt laws. Penalties include anywhere from a $35 to $100 civil penalty fine, meaning that no demerit points are gained and it will not result in a license suspension.
Seat Belt Defenses
There are possible defenses for not wearing a seatbelt in Nevada, although each case is different.
There was no seat belt in the car; some vehicles are so old that there are no seat belts in the car.
The defendant was wearing a seatbelt and the police were mistaken; photo evidence is important.
The defendant had a doctor’s note; wearing a seatbelt can sometimes be harmful to someone’s unique physical health and someone may have a medical excuse.
The police pulled you over only because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, and you did not violate any other traffic laws.
Before the driver starts driving the motor vehicle, it is important that everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, to ensure everyone is safe. According to the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts, 22% of Nevada’s total fatalities are due to either a driver or passenger not wearing a seatbelt. Buckling up can reduce the risk of getting seriously injured or dying in a motor vehicle accident by 50%. If you were cited for not wearing a seatbelt, reaching out to a criminal defense attorney that can fight the charges may help you with having the charges reduced, or even dismissed. If you or a loved one was seriously injured due to a defective seatbelt, our experienced attorneys at Ticket Busters will aggressively make sure you receive full compensation in order to pay for medical bills, and other important wages that may have been lost due to the injury.