Thousands of Florida residents die or incur serious injuries in traffic accidents every year. In this article, Gainesville and Ocala accident lawyer, Jeffrey Meldon states the laws regarding seat belt and car seat use in Florida. Remember, not only is it the law but, properly restrained passengers in age appropriate devices can help to reduce the severity of those injuries and save lives. Here are the laws for Florida:
2009 Florida Child restraint requirements Law (Florida Statute §316.613)
In Florida, a child must be restrained in a safety seat or by a seat belt, depending on the child’s age, while in a motor vehicle*.
In any motor vehicle*, Florida law requires children under the age of 5 to be protected with a federally-approved child restraint device:
- Children 3 years old and younger must be properly restrained in a separate child safety seat or a child seat integrated into a vehicle.
- Children 4 and 5 years old must be restrained in a separate child safety seat, a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat, booster seat or safety belt.
Children 6 through 17 years old must wear a seat belt at all times.
Any person who violates this law, commits a moving violation and:
1. Must pay a penalty of $60 and 3 points are assessed against that person’s driver’s license;
2. May choose, with the court’s approval, to participate in a child restraint safety program, approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. After completion of the program, a penalty and points may be waived at the court’s discretion.
2009 Florida Adult Seat Belt Use Law (Florida Statute §316.614) The Florida Safety Belt Law
In Florida, all drivers and front seat passengers of motor vehicles* on roadways, streets, and highways, must wear a seat belt, unless: a person is certified by a doctor as having a medical condition that makes seat belt use inappropriate or dangerous, is delivering newspapers to homes, or is collecting solid waste.
All occupants of motor vehicles* on roadways under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt or be in an appropriate child restraint system.
Additionally, Florida is a “primary offense” state, meaning that the police officer may pull a vehicle over if a driver or a passenger is not wearing a seat belt. The penalty for failing to wear a seat belt is $30.
*The definition of a motor vehicle excludes: a school bus, a bus used for the transportation of persons for compensation, a farm tractor, a truck with a weight of more than 26,000 lbs, a motorcycle, moped or bicycle.
I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.
Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury lawyers, litigators and trial lawyers that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 800-373-8000.