Florida Bill Pushes to Raise Booster Seat Age

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

Child Safety advocates have their eye on a bill that would keep little ones in booster seats until they're 7 years old, but with House Bill 11 locked up in the House, some are doubting it will make it to the floor for a vote by May.

Current law requires children three years and younger be buckled in a car seat or booster seat.

However, the Journal of American Pediatrics reports that children ages 4 to 7 have a greater chance to suffer head, brain, and severe abdominal injuries when wearing only a seat belt.

Wallace Flurry would like to see the booster seat age raised and says, "I don't think you could ever be too safety conscious when it comes to children, so the more secure they are in an automobile, I think it's in their best interest."

April West who is against raising the booster seat age says "I think it should be up to the parent. I think at 7 years old, you know, some kids are already sitting in the front seat and as long as they're in a seat belt, I think it's okay."

Florida is one of three states that does not have a law requiring booster seats for kids who have outgrown their car seat.

The representative who filed the bill says if it doesn't pass this year, he will file again next year.

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State of Florida Seat Belt Laws
In a car crash you are much more likely to be killed if you are not wearing a seat belt. That is why Florida has seat belt laws. The law states that the front seat passengers must wear seat belts. This law applies to any car manufactured since 1968. in addition, all passengers under 18 years old must wear a seat belt or be otherwise restrained by a child car seat. It is against the law to operate a vehicle if all the passengers do not meet these standards.

The cost for a seatbelt violation is $30. Below is a summary of the Florida seat belt law. For a child that is not properly restrained the violation is $60.

Summary of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws
Seat belt laws apply to all cars, pickup trucks, and vans operated on Florida roads.

All passengers in the front seat must wear a seat belt.

All passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt

Florida Child Restraint Requirements
Children 3 and younger must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat.

Children 4 through 5 must be secured by either a federally approved child restraint seat or safety belt.

The Driver is responsible for buckling up the child.

Why is it Important to Wear a Safety Belt?
Seat belts protect you from being thrown from a vehicle. If you are thrown from a vehicle your risk of death is five times greater.

By securing you in your seat, a seat belt protects you from being thrown into other people in the car and parts of your car. In addition, seat belts keep the driver in their seat so they can control the car.

Always Wear your Safety Belt
The Florida safety belt laws apply at all times. Regardless if you are on a short trip in your neighborhood or driving hundreds of miles on the turnpike - always wear your seat belt.

Full details of the Florida Safety Belt law can be found in the Florida drivers manual.


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