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Child Passenger Safety (Pupil Transportation)

Child Passenger Safety Law

  • All children up to age eight must ride correctly secured in a federally approved child safety seat.
  • Children ride rear facing until up to age two or until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
  • Children up to age eight must ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seatbelt and is not already occupied by other children under eight years of age.
  • Children ages eight to eighteen must ride secured in a seatbelt or child safety seat (belt positioning booster).

By state law, any person in Nebraska who drives any motor vehicle which has or is required to have an occupant protection system, or a three-point safety belt system shall ensure that all children up to eight years of age being transported by such vehicle (a) use a child passenger restraint system of a type which meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. School buses with lap belts or lap and shoulder belts (occupant protection systems) fall under this law.

  • When using a school bus with lap only belts children up to age eight must be properly restrained using a child safety seat or restraint designed specifically for a school bus. NO booster seats! Booster seats are never used in any vehicle with lap only belts.
  • When using a school bus with lap and shoulder belts children up to age eight must use the lap and shoulder belt. If the child is too small (preschooler) to properly fit the lap and shoulder belt, then a child safety seat or restraint designed specifically for a school bus should be used. NO booster seats! School bus seats and lap shoulder belts are designed to fit children.
  • When using a school bus without lap or lap and shoulder belts, children up to age 8 and/or school age children do not need to use a child safety seat or a school bus specific restraint. The high back padded seats provide the crash protection, which is called compartmentalization. The National Highway Traffic Administration recommends that children younger than school age (preschoolers) use a school bus specific restraint due to their size.
  • Booster seats are not used on school buses. Due to the design of school bus seating and belt systems, a booster seat should not be used on a school bus. Booster seats are never used in any vehicle with lap only belts.
  • When using any child safety seat or school bus restraint, always refer to manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.

Resource for Choosing & Using Child Safety Restraint Systems

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web site to get detailed information about transporting children in buses. For additional information on child restraint systems and which would work best in school vans or school buses, contact the following retailers of child restraint systems:

To help ensure proper installation of car seats, always refer to the vehicles owner’s manual for instructions about proper use of child restraint systems in your vehicles.

Seating in Small Vehicles

Children under the age of 8 cannot be seated in the front seat of a small vehicle per Section 60-6,267. Best practice recommendations are to not seat children under age 13 in the front seat. However, if the situation occurs that a child between ages 9-13 needs to ride in the front seat, please follow these steps:
Seat the tallest/biggest child in the front seat.

  • Make sure the seat belt fits properly – lap belt low on lap, not on stomach; shoulder belt is centered on shoulder.
  • Slide the seat as far back as possible.
  • Keep in mind that in the event of an air bag discharge, the most intense contact would be with head and face of a shorter person.

For more details, contact:

  • Kaitlyn Richardson, Nebraska Safety Center Lead Trainer
    • (402) 480-6859
  • Jason Kerkman, Nebraska SAFE KIDS Coordinator
    • (402) 471-8749

Program Contacts

  • Stephanie DeGroot: (402) 540-0649 or
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or


Updated September 1, 2023 12:30pm