Miami Legal Tips Blog

New Booster Seat Law Now Includes Kids Aged 4, 5

child safetyAttention Florida parents:  State Law cracks down on child safety seat use – if you kids are under the age of 5, this applies to you!

For those of us with children, it goes without saying that your kids’ safety and wellbeing is your top priority.  With the hundreds of thousands of automobile accidents that occur in Florida each year that result in thousands of deaths, you can bet that parents take extra caution with child safety restraints.  But even with as many as 200,000+ crashes reported in a typical year in the state, Florida enforces relatively lax regulations when it comes to young children riding in the car.

Kids grow up fast, but just because they’ve outgrown their baby-sized car seat doesn’t mean they are ready to ride shotgun.  Of all the states in the Union, Florida is currently one of only two that does not require the use of booster seats for young children in the back seat, until now.  A new state mandate promises to tighten the reins (or in this case, safety belt) on kids riding in cars.

Until recently, only children under the age of three have been legally required to ride in a car seat, even though safety activists insist that four and five year olds are still small enough to require a safety seat.  Child safety officials say that the added height when in a booster seat makes all the difference in the effectiveness of a seatbelt.  In the event of an accident, those extra inches could be the difference between life and death.

So under this stricter law, when do children need to be in a safety seat?

Any child age five or younger is required to ride in a booster seat, with a few exceptions:

A child between 4-5 is exempt from the law if

  • The driver is not a member of his immediate family
  • If the child is being given a ride as a favor, or
  • In the event of an emergency

With the best interests of the safety of your child, and for your own legal protection, be sure to give your kids a boost in the back seat in the State of Florida!



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