In recognition of “Child Passenger Safety Week” proclaimed by Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reminds all motorists to properly restrain children in a vehicle and will focus on child passenger safety enforcement throughout the week. With an emphasis on keeping our children safe on the roadways, drivers should ensure that children are seated in the proper restraint for their age, size, and weight.
“Our children are precious cargo and having them properly restrained in a vehicle saves lives,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Last year, 1,165 children were injured wearing no safety restraint in a vehicle. Protect Florida’s most vulnerable passengers and ensure they arrive alive by buckling children in properly, every time.”
“The Florida Highway Patrol wants to educate the public regarding child safety on Florida’s roadways,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Make sure your child is properly restrained at all times, to ensure they arrive safely to their destination.”
Many children may need booster seats beyond the age required by law, depending on the size of the child and where the seatbelt crosses the body. The following recommendations can help determine if your child, after age 5, is ready to wear a seatbelt without a booster seat:
- The child is at least 4’9” tall;
- The child can sit all the way back in the seat and bend knees at the edge of the seat;
- The shoulder belt lays across the chest, not the neck;
- The lap belt lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
Children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of the vehicle whenever possible for additional safety.
FHP has members that are car seat certified who can help identify the best child seat to fit a child, can ensure the seat is properly fitted in a car and can check that the seat is being used correctly every time. FHP offers free car seat checks and installations for motorists who bring their current car seat to local FHP Troop stations. Motorists are encouraged to contact their local troop station to make an appointment. More information can be found on the department website.