At Rooney & Rooney Law, one of our practice areas is Personal Injury law. As you can imagine, there are times when we are presented with situations that are truly tragic. Sometimes those situations could have turned out better if drivers had exercised more caution, sometimes not.
One thing that can help prevent certain tragedies is making sure your children are properly belted into an approved car seat for their weight and size.
If you have children and they are under certain ages and weights, they MUST be buckled into an approved child restraint device. Moreover the device must be properly secured in the vehicle.
The legal penalties for not doing so are severe, but beyond that, a death caused by a child who is NOT properly restrained while being transported in a moving vehicle of any kind is something that no one ever fully recovers from.
Here is a section of the Florida State Uniform Traffic Control on the Florida Legislature Site:
“Child restraint requirements.—
(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, 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.
1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:
a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;
b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or
c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.
(b) The department shall provide notice of the requirement for child restraint devices, which notice shall accompany the delivery of each motor vehicle license tag.”
Personal Injury Law is something we take very seriously and we know that sometimes accidents just happen, but if you and your family have taken all the necessary precautions, the outcome may be better than if you do not. For more information on Child Safety and Child Restraints in the state of Florida, please check the Florida Legislature Site.