Florida law requires kids under 6 to be in carseat. Is this enforced?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by disney4us2002, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. disney4us2002

    disney4us2002 Tagless by choice!!

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    My son will be turning 6 3 days into our trip and he would be devastated to sit in a carseat again--hasn't had one in Md since turning four. The car rental agencies claim I have to rent a booster/carseat for him. Is this your experience too?

    Carla
     
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  3. beattyfamily

    beattyfamily DIS Cast Member<br><font color="purple">Has Oodles

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    I posted this over in Transportation board:

    Is this new? Did it just change (since last year) because I investigated this law before our last trip to WDW and it was:

    "All children under 5 years of age or younger must be properly restrained no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle. Children through age 3 must be secured in a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child safety seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child safety seat, or a safety belt may be used. (FL Statute 316.613)."

    I just found this info again at several site including myflorida.com, The Department of Transportation, buckleupflorida.com, and inventiveparent.com. They all state the above.

    So my question is has the law changed in the last year and all these website have old info?? Anyone here know for sure?
     
  4. disney4us2002

    disney4us2002 Tagless by choice!!

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    This is all I can find and I'm thinking the counterperson at Hertz was wrong.

    Florida
    316.613 Child restraint requirements.--
    (1) (a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined herein, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a seat belt may be used.

    It starts out like it is a booster, but then the last sentence says 4 or 5 can use a seat belt. Hmmm, I hope the guy wasn't just trying to increase my rental costs by getting me to rent a booster for the week.

    Carla
     
  5. Pluto4President

    Pluto4President DIS Veteran ºoº DVC 4ME

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    I believe either the rental coompanies are trying to cover the ___, or generate money on rentals, or both!
     
  6. drusba

    drusba I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.

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    The car rental companies are in the business of assuring no one can assert they were negligent and violated the law when it comes to a car seat (yes, it is "protect my ___"). Thus, since your child will be 5 when you arrive, they are likely to insist on your taking a car seat. Whether you actually use it then becomes your responsibility.
     
  7. SandraC

    SandraC Longs for the feeling of sandy salt water in her k

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    In 1998 dd was 4.5 years old and the car rental company didn't require us to have any extra seat for her. Is this new? We are flying in April and bringing ds (2) car seat from home, dd is now 8 so that's ok. Tough one!
     
  8. WDW2002

    WDW2002 DIS Veteran

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    UNDER 6 really means 5 yo and younger but....


    California law change on Jan. 1 that all children 6 and younger or under 60 lbs must be in a car seat or booster seat. I don't know about Florida but it may have changed also with the new year. And remember it is for the safety of your child and that they need to be both 6 yrs. & 60 pounds.
     
  9. aprincessmom

    aprincessmom Huh?

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    Actually, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends all child passengers under 80 lbs. and under 4'9" in height be restrainted with a belt and a child booster seat. And anyone under the age of 13 ride in the back seat of a car only.

    Remember parents, seat belts are designed for a passenger fitting a minimum requirement of 4' 9" in height and at least 80 lbs in weight. If you can not meet these minium requirements, restraint in accident situations can not be guaranteed.

    NTSB can only make recommendations. But they do collect a great deal of data to help issue guidance. Their data points to increased safety risks for children who do not meet the minimum requirements for seat belt safety.

    Err on the side of caution and help keep your kids safe.
     
  10. sha_lyn

    sha_lyn If we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane

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    Please take this post with the concern it is written with. This is not an attack.
    Personally I can not imagine not using a car seat for my 4.5 yr old DD. DS was in one until he was 60 lbs (about age 5) beofre they made the boosters that go up to 80 lbs. Seat bealts are not safe for small children. I might haven ot thought about it much myself until the accident a friend was in. Her DD was about 7 and they were in a head on accident. Everyone was ok except the DD (the other 3 children were in safty seats). The DD had a blood clot in her neck from the seat belt. all of her neck except the very back was one solid bruise. Please for your childs safty use a booster seat or other devise until he is 80 lbs or 4 ft 9 in's tall. I just saw a compact harness that runs around $25 that might be ideal for your DS. Wal Mart in our area carries it. It would be easy to take with you in a carry on and you would not have to rent one from the car agency.
     
  11. docswkids

    docswkids Earning My Ears

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    I absolutely agree with Aprincessmom and Sha-lyn. Think twice before you dismiss safety recomendations for your children in cars. My kids are 3 and 6, and my six year old weighs 65 lbs. My children are not allowed to ride in any car without their booster seats. It only takes one accident during one car ride to change things forever. As posted above, safety belts are designed for adults' safety in mind, not children's.

    I am renting a car from Alamo in Orlando and they say they dont have boosters to rent. I just purchased two small boosters online for $27.00 a piece that I will send on the plane in a small duffle. I feel it is a small inconvenience and price to keep my children as safe as possible.

    New Jersey just passed a law requiring children under 80lbs to ride in a car seat or booster based on the NTSB recommendations, and I was stunned by the negative response from parents.
     
  12. pajamommy

    pajamommy DIS Oldtimer

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    I agree with the last 3 posters, my DD is 5 and still uses a booster, I wouldn't even think of letting her just use the seatbelt anytime in the near future.
     
  13. beattyfamily

    beattyfamily DIS Cast Member<br><font color="purple">Has Oodles

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    IMHO, all these opinions are well and good but the original poster only asked about Florida's current seatbelt/car seat law. Not what you would or wouldn't do.

    I did like the idea, though, of bringing one of those small booster seats that can fit in a bag....

    Both my DD's 2 and 5 are in carseats/boosters, but our last vacation this past December, I didn't bring the booster (based on Florida's law) and I did regret it because the seatbelt didn't fit right and she couldn't even see out the window! At home, we have the built in child seats in our vans. That's why I'm considering bringing one of those small booster seats next November when she's 6...but if I chose not to bring one again, I certainly won't think I'm a bad mother, if it's within the law.

    I do think forcing a 6 - 8 year old who hasn't been in a car seat for some time to be in one again would be tough!


    Disney4us2002, please don't feel bad if you don't bring a booster seat. Just be sure about the law. I already told you what I think the law is based on my research with many websites. You do what you feel is best, not what other mother's feel is best.

    I remember the days when you could all hop in the back of a station wagon with no seat belts!

    Also, I was just thinking about this Sunday after watching this movie called "Once Around" with Richard Dryfuss and Molly Hunter?? Anyway, they were rich and rode in limo all the time. Their infant was on her lap! I said to my husband, you don't need a carseat in a limo?? Then he proceeded to list all the places you don't: Buses of all kinds like shuttle buses, school buses, in the back of RV, taxi's, and trains etc...I'm not saying this is right or good, it's just ironic to me that we think kids should be in a booster seat till 8 yet in so many other modes of transportation they don't need anything! Fruit for thought.
     
  14. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    All children under 5 years of age or younger must be properly restrained no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle. Children through age 3 must be secured in a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child safety seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child safety seat, or a safety belt may be used. (FL Statute 316.613).

    As you can see your 5/6yo is legal in a seatbelt in the state of Florida. The rental agency can't force you to rent a seat for your child.

    There is a push in many states including Florida to increase the age requrement for children in booster seats but FL hasn't passed it yet. As of now its just a recomendation in most states that children stay in a booster seat until 6yrs and 60 lbs.

    HTH
    TJ
     
  15. buzz5985

    buzz5985 DIS Veteran

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    I believe there is a push in congress for a 8 year old minimum for a booster seat. I come from a family for Firefighters. Believe me when I tell you there is a need. I have a 5 1/4 yo in a high backed booster seat. He's staying in that until he is 10. The heck with is self esteem.
     
  16. sha_lyn

    sha_lyn If we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane

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    Sometimes I wonder just what type of world we live in when parents are more concerned wiht a childs "self esteem" than they are with keeping the child alive.
     
  17. docswkids

    docswkids Earning My Ears

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    This is not an attack on the parenting of people who do not put their grade school children in boosters. I am assuming that those who dont do this, do not understand why it is a very good idea to do so. There is a wealth of information on this subject on the internet, I recommend checking out the ntsb site and the american academy of pediatrics site. They state that a child can safely sit without a booster in an automobile with a seat belt when they can sit with their back against the seat and their knees bent over the edge of the seat. A high backed booster seat is not necessary for a child over 40lbs; either a high backed seat or a booster without a back can be used. The evenflow right fit is a compact booster that uses a car's seatbelt and costs less than thirty dollars.

    The reason why seatbelts are not required in school buses is that the deaths yearly in school buses (11 per year in this country) are unlikely to have been prevented by wearing a seat belt. School buses are not cars. The forces in an accident are different. School buses are the safest vehicles on the road per the ntsb.
     
  18. snowmouse

    snowmouse DIS Veteran

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    Whether or not your child needs the seat, it really irks me that a car rental company would try to force one on you. If they are going to require you to take it they need to make the costs more reasonable (6-8 dollars a day, I think). We find it very easy to bring our high backed booster along for our 5 1/2 yo dd. She sits in it on the airplane and in the rental car. Years ago, I rented seats a couple of times for my older children and found their condition (and therefore, safety) to be VERY inconsistent, not to mention they were always filthy. And once, I reserved one only to find it given to someone else on the other end, then we did have a problem.
     
  19. docswkids

    docswkids Earning My Ears

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    I think the rental companies should provide the seats for free or for a very nominal fee. We rented two car seat for our children on a 10 day trip last year and paid $70 plus tax, which more than paid for these seats. If the companies want relatively cheap and good pr, just hold a deposit on the seats which would be returnable upon the return of the seats. My dealings with all car rental companies has been that they are out to soak you as much as they can on the rental while providing poor service. I cannot believe Alamo does not provide boosters in Orlando, when it is the law that at least my 3yr old rides in one(he is definately too large for a car seat, which is all they have for rent).
     
  20. kntheboys

    kntheboys Earning My Ears

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    When we went 2 weeks ago, we brought the bottom portion of the Gerry booster seat (we never use the top section of it after reading on the NTSB site about boosters being safer when used with a seat belt so kids can't fall out in a rollover accident-- but that's another story!). Anyway, we have 5 boys, ages 2 months, 5 years, 6 1/2, 9 1/2 and 11. The 6 year old is about 70 pounds and just uses a regular seat belt, but my 5 year old is small, and I didn't feel comfortable using just the van's seat belt for him.

    I just took the detachable shoulder strap from an old briefcase or duffel bag (has clips on each end of the strap to clip it onto the bag) and clipped it to the metal things sticking out on either side of the booster (where you normally attach the top portion of the booster). It worked fantastic! It didn't need a separate bag or anything, and we could hang it on the back of the stroller or over our shoulder when we were in the airport. It fit perfectly under the seat on the plane, too. This way we didn't have to try to manuever a high back booster or check it or anything-- it was very light, too.
     
  21. RitaZ.

    RitaZ. Move on don't hesitate, break out.

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    I went to a carseat safety check last year, and the police officer that inspected ours said that if a child can sit comfortably in the seat with his feet touching the floor, then a booster seat isn't needed. My DS#2 is 6 and still uses a booster seat and so does my DD (4).

    There are times when parents use a regular carseat when the child clearly needs a booster seat. The shoulder straps should be above the child's shoulders. If you have them in the highest setting and they are below the child's shoulders, then it's time to go with a booster. From what I was told this can cause serious injuries to a child if you are in an accident.

    Some of my friends use regular carseats when their child is obviously too big for it, but they felt they were safer in one than in a booster seat. One had the shoulder straps on the highest setting and they were still about 3 inches below the boy's shoulder. It's all about proper fitting and installation.

    As far as laws are concerned, they have been trying to increase the age at which a child no longer requires one.

    Even with these laws in effect, many parents don't restrain their kids in the car. However, if you are stopped (for whatever reason) by a police offer or highway patrol in FL and your child isn't properly restrained, you will be fined.

    The car rental companies are definitely trying to c.t.a.. This is something that you be provided at no cost or for a minimal fee.

    This is what I found for you~ http://www11.myflorida.com/safety/HighwaySafetyGrantProgram/hsgp/HSGPAreas_OccupantFAQ.htm
     

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