Florida’s Child Restraint and Safety Laws are Lenient According to NTSB

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Written By: Lenorae C. Atter
Attorney at Law
1155335_giraffe_in_baby_seat_.jpgFlorida ranks as the worst and most lenient for child safety laws according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB report recently released finds that Florida’s laws are not stringent enough on providing for children to be in a safety regulated seat. According to the NTSB, since 1996, children eight (8) years old and younger should be protected by state child restraint laws. Florida’s law only requires that a child, three (3) years or younger is required to be a child restraint seat, children ages four (4) to five (5) must either be in a child seat or seat belted and children under the age of 18 are required to wear a seatbelt regardless of their seat location in a vehicle.
According to the NTSB report, Florida fails to maintain laws that properly and effectively protect children. While Florida has failed to upgrade the child safety laws to meet the NTSB recommendations, Florida has made strides in getting adults to wear seat belts. In 2009, Florida passed a law allowing drivers to be cited for failing to wear a seatbelt while driving. Prior to the change, officers could only issue the citation if a driver was pulled over for a separate driving infraction. The recent “click it or ticket” campaign did show that there is an increase in safety belt usage in Florida. The report, recently released on the matter, showed that there has been a 2% increase in seat belt usage in the last year.
While Florida has failed to get behind the NTSB’s recommendations, there are indications, based on the 2009 law change, that indicates Florida is taking this matter seriously.

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