What do you do with kids who are too big for car seats but too little for a standard seat belt? The Florida Legislature says it has the answer, though some child advocates say the new law that takes effect on Jan. 1 doesn’t measure up to the rest of the nation or to recommendations of national safety experts.
After years of relentless pushing, child safety advocates persuaded Florida lawmakers to pass a law this spring designed to further protect children in moving motor vehicles. The law was signed by Gov. Rick Scott in June.
The law requires children to be put in federally approved car restraint seats through the age of 3 and either a car seat or booster seat, depending on the size of the child, for kids 4 and 5.
Until the law kicks in on Jan. 1, Florida will be one of only two states that do not require child booster seats for children after they turn 4.
“We’ve been working on this bill for 14 years,” said Karen Morgan, public policy manager for AAA The Auto Club Group in Tampa. “It’s been a long time.”
Still, there is a way to go,she said. The state still does not follow American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations that children be restrained in booster seats until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall.
Story from TBO.com.