Do you know what the Florida car seat laws for 2020 are? If not, then this guide will keep you updated. Florida has its own specific state laws that were designed to ensure the safety and protection of children when on the road. The most important thing to remember about car seat laws in Florida is that all children who are under five years old must be properly restrained anytime that they are in a vehicle.
It doesn’t matter where the child is sitting in the vehicle, as there are rules that will keep them safe no matter where they are located. The following information on properly restraining children under five years old will help parents and guardians keep their child safe at all times.
Information on Infant Car Seats
All infants must be in an infant car seat when in a vehicle in Florida. This means that infants from the day that they are born until they turn one year old must be restrained in this type of car seat, and it must be rear facing. Once an infant has reached both one year old as well as a minimum weight of 20 pounds, then they can move to a different type of rear facing car seat.
While it can be tempting to place an infant in the front seat, as this can make taking care of them on the road easier, this is incredibly dangerous. A car seat should never be placed in the front seat of a vehicle that has an air bag on the passenger side. Doing so can put a child at major risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
The safest place for a child, regardless of their age or weight, is in the back seat of the vehicle. This will ensure that they have ample protection if there is an accident.
Information on Rear Facing Car Seats
Children who have reached one year of age as well as the minimum of 20 pounds can then be moved into a rear facing car seat. These children must stay in these seats until they are a minimum of four years old.
The child safety seat can either be a separate carrier or it can be fully integrated into the vehicle. These fully integrated options are created and installed by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Information on Front Facing Car Seats
Once a child has reached four years old, then their rear facing car seat can be turned around so that it is facing the front of the car. They must remain in this car seat until they are five years old. Again, the car seat can be a separate carrier option or an integrated seat that was created by the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Children who are between four and five years old may use a safety belt, but only if it fits correctly across their body. A booster seat can be used to ensure that the safety belt is in the correct position on the child’s body. This holds both the shoulder and lap belt in place.
Information on Booster Seats
Once a child outgrows a forward facing car seat, then they can be moved to a booster seat. Generally speaking, children in booster seats will weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. They are generally less than 4’9” tall.
This booster seat needs to be used until the child has outgrown these restrictions so that the safety belt will fit correctly on their body when they are in the vehicle.
Since Florida takes their car seat laws so seriously, drivers need to be aware that there are fines that they may face if they are found to be in violation of these laws. A citation for violating car seat safety laws in Florida results in a $60 fine as well as three points on a person’s license.
Understanding the Florida Car Seat Law is the best way for a family to make sure that their child is safe when on the road in this state. By paying attention to age and weight limits, parents and guardians can provide their children with the correct car seat that they need to ensure that they are secured in the vehicle, that the shoulder and lap belt fit correctly, and that they will be as protected as possible in the event of an accident.