Boosting Child Safety Restraint Laws in Florida
Florida lawmakers have jumped on the bandwagon and implemented new child safety restraint laws effective January 1, 2015. With hundreds of thousands of children being injured in car crashes each year, and numerous seat belt recalls being issued in 2014, auto safety concerns have been at the forefront of national media coverage. Florida lagged behind other states in issuing safety precautions for its youth, with many states having child restraint requirements for those up to age 8 or older if they are under a certain weight at that age. Other restrictions on seatbelt usage or minor passenger seating location (front/rear) may affect individuals up to the age of 16 in other states.
New Florida Child Safety Restraint Law
The previous version of this law allowed children over the age of four to use a seat belt instead of a pre-approved child safety seat. Now, all children under the age of six will be required to ride in a tested and federally approved safety apparatus, which may include a booster seat. While the law carves out exceptions to the new requirements, it also requires that all children under the age of three must ride in a child restraint seat.
Lawmakers incentivize compliance with Florida law by making violators of the new car seat safety laws pay a fine and receive points on their license. Most traffic citations result in points being awarded on a person’s license; points can add up and lead to license suspension or driving restrictions.
Car Seats and Safety Concerns
Many people are under the impression that simply using a car seat is enough to keep their young ones safe. However, many little ones may not be getting the full benefit of their car safety restraints if they are being buckled in improperly. Car safety seats are designed for very specific usage, and for specific age, height, and weights in mind. Using a hand-me-down car seat from your oldest child might not be the right fit for your second child—it is critical to make sure you change your safety routine to accommodate your growing children. The targets of this new law- children between the ages of 3-6—are especially vulnerable to quick weight and height increases, which may require parents to adopt their transportation safety seats accordingly.
Miami Auto Accident Attorneys
No parent wants to even consider the possibility of being in an auto accident with their child or children in the car. The best thing parents can do is be in compliance with the new law, not just to avoid a fine or getting points on their license, but more importantly to ensure their child will be safe in the event of an accident. Child safety seats are carefully designed to protect small bodies in a way a normal seat belt simply cannot. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, our exceptional team of attorneys at Alan Goldfarb P.A. can help you through this difficult time. Our experienced Miami auto accident lawyers know how to negotiate with lawyers, insurance companies, and third parties to ensure that you are entitled to the compensation you deserve. If you have questions about your legal rights after an accident, or think you may have a viable legal claim, do not hesitate to learn more about your options by calling our Miami, Florida offices today.