New Florida Law Requires Booster Seat For Children Under Age 6


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles now requires children up to age 6 to ride in a child safety sear to booster seat rather than simply use a seatbelt, thanks to new legislation.

“Safety belts save lives, but only when used and used correctly,” Terry Rhodes, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said. “Booster seats help elevate children to the height at which the safety belt will properly secure them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children between the ages of 4 and 8. The change has received high praise since Florida previously had the weakest child passenger safety law in the country - before, children were only required to ride in a car seat until age 3. Now, it’s the responsibility of the adult to make sure that any child in a car must be properly secured, or risk facing a $60 fine and 3 points against one’s drivers license.

In order to increase awareness of the new law, Florida AAA offices plan to give away new car seats to parents with children under the age of 6.

“We’re advocates for safety,” Vanessa Jones, a spokesperson for AAA, said. “It just makes sense of course that we want our children to be on the road in booster seats because it cuts down on the fatalities.”

According to Jones, anyone can pick up a booster seat from the club every Friday in January, even if you aren’t a member. Each family may take one car seat and is required to make an appointment before picking up the seat, since they are in such high demand. AAA reported that they had to order more to fulfill orders.

Many children may even need a booster seat past the age that the law recommends, depending on their size and the location of the seat belt across their body. Many recommend that a child use a booster seat until they are at least 4’9”, can sit all the way back in the seat and bend their knees at the edge, when the seat belt lays across their chest and not their neck and when the belt lays across their upper thighs instead of stomach.

Children under the age of 13 should remain seated in the backseat, according to child safety experts.

Source: Momsense / Photo Credit: Flickr


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