Florida’s car seat laws are changing. The Governor recently signed a bill into law that will require four and five year olds to ride in a booster seat when in cars.
- Current Law – Parents must put all children 3 years and younger in booster seats when transporting them in the car.
- New Law – Parents must put their 4-5 year old children in booster seats when transporting them in the car.
Until Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 225 into law, Florida was one of only two states that allowed children aged 4-5 to ride in vehicles with nothing but a seatbelt.
There is an exception to this new law for children being transported by someone who is not a close family member. In these situations, the new car seat law will not apply.
Safercar.gov recommends having children three and younger ride in rear-facing car seats. They also recommend that children stay in booster seats until age 8-13 before using regular seatbelts.
Florida’s new car seat law will apply until a child is 5 years old, but safety experts suggest keeping children in car seats even longer if they have not yet reached 4 feet 9 inches tall. Usually, this does not happen until a child is 8-13 years old.
Florida Senators in support of stricter car seat laws hailed the legislation, commenting that this can save lives and keep Florida’s families safer.
Other Laws That Took Effect July 1
Governor Scott signed more than 250 bills into law, including the car seat bill. These bills implemented changes to budgeting, education, healthcare, guns, and more. As far as road safety is concerned, House Bill 7005 was signed into law, a bill that extends the Move-Over Act to sanitation and utility service vehicles. It also requires buses (not school buses) to take reasonable measures to avoid obstructing traffic when picking up or dropping off passengers, and permits Florida judges to order repeat DUI offenders to take twice-daily breath tests in lieu of ignition interlock devices (IIDs).
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