PLATTSMOUTH – Attention, parents with small children.
Starting this upcoming New Year’s Day, Nebraska’s child passenger laws will change to keep children safer as they travel.
“It’s not a drastic change, but it is a change,” said Brad Lahm, chief deputy Cass County Sheriff’s Department.
New provisions of the law provided by the sheriff’s office include:
* Children must ride rear-facing up to age 2 or until they reach the upper weight and height limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
According to Lahm, children riding in that position face reduced chances of neck injuries like whiplash in a collision.
* Children up to age 8 must ride in a correctly installed car seat or booster seat;
* Children up to age 8 must ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seat belt and is not already occupied by other children under 8 years of age.
* Children ages 8 to 18 must ride secured in a seat belt or child safety seat (belt positioning booster).
A violation carries a $25 fine, plus court costs and 1 point may be added to the driver’s record.
“If you accumulate 12 points in a two-year time period, your license will be suspended,” Lahm said.
Though the Nebraska Legislature approved this updated child-restraint law this past year, the recommendation came from the U.S. Department of Transportation through simulated crash tests and other studies, according to Lahm.
“You’re always better to be buckled-in,” he said.