Specific requirements vary depending on the age of the child and are based on industry and government safety guidelines. Remember, the purpose of these laws is to ensure your child’s safety, and you should consider them as a minimum standard. Here are five things to know about Florida car seat laws.
Guidelines for Children Under Four Years
Children under the age of four must be restrained in a child safety seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. This can be a separate carrier or a child safety seat built into a vehicle by the manufacturer.
Children should always use a rear-facing seat, as this is the safest possible way of transporting young children. Safety experts recommend that you continue to use this seat as long as the child is within the seat’s height and weight limits.
When the child becomes too large for a rear-facing seat, you should switch to a forward-facing child safety seat. This seat must also be installed in the rear seat of the vehicle.
Guidelines for Children Between the Ages of Four and Five
By law, children between the ages of four and five can continue to use a child safety seat, at the parent’s discretion. Otherwise, the child can use the vehicle seat belt. The child must stay in the back seat.
That said, safety experts recommend that children should continue to use the forward-facing seat until they exceed the seat height or weight limit. This is normally around the age of four and weighing 40 pounds.
Guidelines for Kids Aged Six and Above
Children aged six to eight should stay in the back seat of the vehicle and use a seat belt at all times.
Although the law does not require the use of a booster seat, safety experts recommend that you continue to use a booster seat for your child until the child is at least four feet tall, nine inches (4’9”) high.
Children thirteen years of age and older can ride in the front or back seat. As with adults, children in the front seat should wear seat belts.
Drivers Are Responsible for the Children in Their Vehicle
The children in a car are the responsibility of their parents or whoever is driving them. When driving with your own children, car seat rules are no exception. If you are driving someone else’s child for someone else’s benefit, as a driver, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with the laws pertaining to the safety of the children you drive and Florida laws regarding car seats.
Penalties for Car Seat Infractions
If a child fails to follow the car seat laws in Florida, their parent’s license could take a three-point hit and they will be fined. You can take a car seat safety course to avoid a points hit on your driver’s license. The course you participate in is subject to the approval of the court located closest to where the violation occurs.
Injured in a Car Accident? Call a Lawyer Now
If you or your child was injured in a car accident, you can speak with local car accident attorneys at Lopez & Humphries, PA by calling (863) 774-3573 to know more about the Florida car seat laws. We also offer other car accident-related help.