The Nebraska Legislature recently passed a new child passenger safety law, effective January 1, 2019.

LB42 will require all children up to age 8 to ride correctly secured in a federally-approved child safety booster. Children must ride rear-facing until up to age two or until they reach the upper weight or height limits allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Children under age eight must ride in the back seat and children between the ages of eight to eighteen must ride secured in a seat belt or child safety seat if they are under the height and weight seatbelt restrictions.

If a driver violates this law, the violation carries a $25 fine with the associated court cost and the potential loss of a point on their driving record in conjunction with Statue # 60-6,267.

The law is based on slight changes from the previous law, which required children ages 6 and under to use a government-approved child passenger restraint system. The simply raised the age limit from 6 years old to 8.

This updated version of the law also means that all children ages eight to eighteen must use a child safety seat if they are smaller in height or weight and fail to meet the minimal safety belt requirements. Children under the age of eighteen are still prohibited from riding in cargo areas as well. These laws are waived during a parade or exhibition if the parade and occupants are complying with applicable state law and local ordinances.

A child who has a condition where they are unable to safely use a child passenger restraint system is legally allowed to bypass this law. A licensed physician must determine, through accepted medical procedures, that the use of a child restraint system would be harmful due to the child’s weight, physical condition, or other medical reasons. The driver must carry the correct, written statement by the physician stating the child is unable to use the required restraint system if they wish to waive this requirement. If not, the driver will still be charged with a $25 fine with the associated court cost and the potential loss of a point on their driving record.

We also want to iterate, every vehicle occupant must wear a seatbelt or a government-approved form of restraint when the driver has a learner’s permit or a school permit, no matter the passenger(s) age.