Parents, grandparents, or any adults responsible for transporting young children, need to be aware of the new child passenger safety law that becomes effective on Nebraska roadways on January 1, 2019. Although the start date is months away, AAA urges drivers to make these changes now to better protect children from serious injuries caused during car crashes.
The updated law requires children up to age eight to ride correctly secured in a federally-approved child safety seat or belt positioning booster seat. Children up to age eight are also required to ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seat belt which is not already occupied by other children under eight years of age. The back seat is the safest place for children to ride and offers protection from the dangers of deploying frontal airbags.
The new law also requires infant children to ride rear-facing up to age two or until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Keeping small children rear-facing helps to protect the child’s head, neck and spinal cord during a crash.
All children and teens, ages 8 to 18, must ride secured in a seat belt or belt positioning booster seat. Violation of the law carries a $25 fine plus associated court costs, and one point may be assessed against the operator’s driving record.
The updates bring Nebraska’s child passenger safety laws closer to the national safety standards recommended by many health and traffic safety organizations. For details on the new law, visit www.nebraskalegislature.gov and enter LB 42. For more information about child passenger safety, visit www.cornhuskerfoundation.org.