Florida's Child Passenger Safety Law Requirements

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by Joshua on March 05, 2014
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Florida Law is very strict when it comes to child passenger safety. Children traveling in the motor vehicles should be appropriately checked for their child safety device. The requirements will vary depending upon your child’s age; however, the overall rules are almost similar to any child under 8 years of age. In a car crash there is a lot of possibility that you might hurt your little one if the child’s safety is not taken care especially if the child is not wearing the seat belt.

Seat belts are safety mechanisms for protecting your children from falling off the car when there are accidents. The risk of injury and death increases 5 times more if you are not using seat belts. Hence, Florida is being very strict in enforcing these safety regulations to all drivers who carry child passengers in the rear seats. Regardless you are going on a short or long trip; make sure you strictly follow the Florida safety belt rules without fail.

Florida’s Seat Belt Laws

  • The seat belt laws in Florida states that it is mandatory to wear seat belts for all the front seat passengers. Also, children below 18 years of age should wear seat belts unless they are not sitting on the car seat. It is against the law if you do not obey these rules.
  • The seat belt law applies to all kinds of vehicles —whether it is car, van, pickup truck or any other passenger carrying vehicles.

Car Seat Rule for less than 5 Years of Age

Children below 4 years of age are restrained in the vehicle’s rear seat and must always be seated in the car seat with all the belts on. Make sure you get your car seat checked and get certified by one of the authorized organization before you start using it. This car seat is a separate carrier that is attached to your vehicle’s rear seat. Rear facing seat is the safest for infants than sitting in the front seats. There is a certain age and weight limits and vehicle experts recommend that you should be placing your child in the rear seat until he or she is less than 20 pounds of weight or less than 4 years of age.

The same rule is applicable for children who are between ages 4 to 5 as well. Just that there is a slight difference in the weight limit which has increased from 20 pounds to 40 pounds right now for ages between 4 to 5 years. Besides this, the children are recommended to use a booster seat at this age. Else, the seat belt may not fit appropriately and the child may be subjected to significant harm when there are accidents.

Car Safety Rules for Children above 6 Years and Below 12 Years

Another class is for children who are above 6 years but below 12 years of age. You are strictly advised to wear seat belt all times and don’t have to use the car seat for this age group. You can use safety adult seat belts during this age group.

Children above 13 years may ride either in front or rear seat and must use safety belt at all times.

What does Violating Seat Belt Rule Mean?

Because of the increasing accidents day by day, Florida DMV has been taking very strict action against the seat belt violations. They charge $30 fine for every seat belt violation and will be given a warning. If the child is not properly secured in the car seat, the fine is much higher than expected. Parents will have to pay $60 fine in case the child is not properly secured in the car seat or with seat belts.

Florida has ample number of places where you can get your car seat checked. The services are almost free and offered by local police stations and highway patrol. You should always get a green check from one of these stations when you are planning to install a new car seat or changing or upgrading your car seat.

You might have seen the set up manual and fixed the car seat all by yourself and may feel it is perfectly setup. Never try to make the car seat decision just by relying on the online materials or the instruction manual. Seeking out for an expert opinion is always advised before you use the car seat.

However, it is very essential that you ensure that it is safe for your child before you set go on a ride with your little one. You can visit "Seat Check ":www.seatcheck.org to find the location where your child’s car seat can be checked and certified. You can also read child safety and car seat rules from Florida’s children’s hospital here

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