Child motor vehicle restraint measure heads to full Assembly

Updated May 16, 2017 - 6:14 pm

CARSON CITY — A bill expanding the age requirement for the use of child restraints in motor vehicles won approval Tuesday in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Senate Bill 156 would require children under age 8 and less than 57 inches tall to be secured in a restraint system, an expansion from the current law that covers children under age 6. A weight limit factor would be eliminated. The bill also would require children under 13 to ride in the back seat where practicable.

The bill would bring Nevada in line with national standards and requirements in 23 other states, a legislative panel was told last week at a hearing on the measure.

The bill has already passed the Senate by a 14-7 vote. The bill will now go to the full Assembly. If approved, it will go to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his consideration.

The bill saw “no” votes from Assemblymen John Ellison, R-Elko; Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville; and Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas.

Jeanne Cosgrove Marsala, representing Safe Kids Clark County, said at the hearing on the bill last week that front seat air bags can kill children under age 13, but there is no prohibition in Nevada law requiring children to ride in the back seat.

The bill is needed to improve child safety in Nevada, bill sponsor Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, told the committee at the hearing.

Nevada law deems it a primary offense allowing for a traffic stop and citation if a child under 6 is not properly secured in a vehicle. The bill would expand the primary offense to children under age 13.

The bill would also allow a citation to be issued to a parent or guardian riding in a vehicle as a passenger where a child was not properly restrained.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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