CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY
All children 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. (FS 316.613)
Child safety seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants (under 1 year old) and by 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars. In light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58% and 59% respectively. (NHTSA)
Seguridad de los niños pasajeros—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The goal of Florida’s Occupant Protection Program is to reduce fatalities and injuries to those who do not use age-appropriate safety restraints. Progress toward this goal relies on a variety of projects that encourage proper use of occupant restraints such as the Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center that provides statewide occupant protection training, education, and resources for road users of all ages.
The majority of the State’s youngest citizens are served through a network of child restraint inspection stations. Active recruitment, training and maintenance of certified child passenger safety technicians and instructors is a top priority of the Florida Occupant Protection Program.
For general information on the Traffic Safety Grant process, please see the State Safety Office Grants webpage.
Florida Child Passenger Restraint Use Report
In 2017, the FDOT released the 2017 Child Restraint Survey report which detailed the results of the first statewide observational survey conducted to determine child passenger restraint use in Florida. This initial survey provides valuable baseline data that can be used for future comparisons.
In 2019, the third consecutive Child Restraint Survey was conducted. Survey results indicated the 82 percent of the children (0 to 12 years old) observed were restrained across the State of Florida. Results indicate that the majority of Floridians understand the importance of properly restraining their children—especially infants, with nearly 95 percent of observed children age 0 to 3 being restrained. However, continued education on the importance of using booster seats is needed with only 75 percent of children age 4 to 5 and 77 percent of children age 6 to 12 were observed restrained.
For additional information on child passenger safety seats and restraints, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats.
Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center
The Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center was established by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to be a one stop resource center providing equipment/educational/promotional materials on child passenger safety (CPS) seats, safety belts, and air bags to support the services of CPS instructors and technicians across Florida.
- Car Seat Ease-of-Use Ratings
- Car Seat Recall Information
- Car Seat Fitting Station Locator
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs
- National Child Passenger Safety Board
- National Child Passenger Safety Certification
- National Child Restraint Use Special Study—NHTSA
- Parents Central—SaferCar.gov
- Safe Kids Florida Car Seat Checkup Events
- Seguridad de los niños pasajeros—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)(Spanish)
- The Ultimate Car Seat Guide—Safe Kids Worldwide
- Traffic Safety Fact Sheet: Children—NHTSA
For more information contact Leilani Gruener @ (850) 414-4048
Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.
Page updated: September 11, 2020