According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida’s seat belt law says the driver, any passengers in the front seat, and any other passengers in the vehicle under the age of 18 must wear a safety restraint.
Florida Child Car Seat Law
Penalties for Not Using a Seat Belt in Florida
In Florida, The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law in Fort Lauderdale allow police to issue citations to drivers and passengers ages 18 or older who are not wearing a seat belt. Additionally, children ages three and under must be secured in a car seat that meets federal safety guidelines. Children ages four and five must be in a federally approved car seat or safety belt apparatus.
Should passengers younger than 18 in the vehicle fail to wear a seat belt, the driver could also receive citations for those passengers.
Exceptions to Florida Booster Seat Laws Use
Under Florida state law, the seat belt usage law penalties do not apply under certain circumstances, including:
- School bus passengers in buses that were purchased new before 2001
- Farm equipment
- Trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds
- Newspaper home delivery service employees in a vehicle
Additionally, those with a doctor’s certification showing that wearing a seat belt would be dangerous to their health are exempt from the Florida seat belt law. Please contact our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato.
Why a Seat Belt Is Important in Florida
A seat belt can save your life if you are involved in a car accident. Seat belts provide a number of benefits to those riding in the vehicle, helping to shield them from the jolting effects of a car crash, including:
- Preventing ejections: The seat belt keeps passengers inside the car, instead of suffering a dangerous passenger ejection through an open window, a broken windshield, or a sunroof.
- Preventing impact injuries: The seat belt holds the passenger in the seat, preventing them from crashing into other people or hard plastics and metals inside the vehicle.
- Preventing loss of control: The seat belt keeps the driver behind the wheel, where they may be able to continue controlling the vehicle.
Safety Booster Seat Belt Usage Statistics in Florida
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved 14,955 lives in 2017 by reducing injury severity for those in a car crash. FLHSMV reported that Florida law enforcement wrote over 119,000 citations for seat belt violations in 2016.
Even if your car has airbags, you should wear a seat belt. The design of an airbag works best when the passengers are wearing their seat belts.
Consequences of Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Florida
As Florida car accident lawyers, our team at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato sees the consequences of not using a seat belt all too often. Even at relatively low speeds, the injuries suffered without the protection of a seat belt can be life-altering. Taking a few seconds to buckle up is always worth it.
The Issue in Florida Chield Care Seat laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children. However, this trend can be significantly decreased if parents make sure to properly use child safety restraint systems. Child car seat laws in Fort Myers have been in effect in all of the countries including Florida for years as a means of encouraging parents to use rear-facing car seats placed in the back seat of vehicles.
If a car seat is placed in the front seat, then serious injury and even death can be caused by the airbag when it deploys. However, when children outgrow the car seat, they are still not necessarily big enough for adult seat belts. If the seat belt is buckled so that it lies on the stomach or neck of the child, then it can also cause injury. When the belt tightens it can constrict the stomach too much causing internal injuries and can actually snap the child’s neck. That is why Florida has joined other states in requiring children who are too big for car seats and too small for seat belts to be placed in a car booster seat. This positions the child higher so that he or she can be strapped in using traditional seat belts without running the risk of injuring the child.
This law went into effect in 2015 and mandates that all children under 5 years old have to be in the proper seat restraints. If your child is 3 or less, then he or she must be placed in a child safety seat. Once a child reaches 4 years old, he or she can be hooked with a safety belt only if it fits properly. If it does not, then the booster seat must be used to reposition the child. Your child should be restrained in a booster seat as long as he or she is between forty to eighty pounds and shorter than 4’9”. Once they have exceeded these two requirements, then they no longer need the booster seat. If a driver is found to be in violation of this law, then he will be fined $60 and receive 3 points on his driving record.
Contact Us To Know Florida Booster Seat Law 2020
The law offices of Wolf & Pravato encourages all parents to use the proper child car restraints for the protection of their children. If you are not sure about how to properly hook in a car seat or booster seat, the Keys to Kids Safety Program is available to help. This will allow you to receive expert assistance in properly installing a car seat or hooking in a booster seat so that your child can be safe.
Contact The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato
If you have been involved in an injury accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We know how to stand up for our clients when attempting to receive compensation for medical bills, and pain and suffering.
We take pride in treating our clients like family. Call us at (954) 633-8270 for a free consultation.