Florida Senate - 2011                                     SB 238
       By Senator Altman
       24-00185-11                                            2011238__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child safety devices in motor
    3         vehicles; amending s. 316.613, F.S.; providing child
    4         restraint requirements for children ages 4 through 7
    5         years of age who are less than a specified height;
    6         providing certain exceptions; redefining the term
    7         “motor vehicle” to exclude certain vehicles from such
    8         requirements; providing a grace period; providing
    9         effective dates.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Effective January 1, 2012, subsection (1) and
   14  paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section 316.613, Florida
   15  Statutes, are amended to read:
   16         316.613 Child restraint requirements.—
   17         (1)(a) Each Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined
   18  herein, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated
   19  on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if
   20  the child is 7 5 years of age or younger and is less than 4 feet
   21  9 inches in height, provide for protection of the child by
   22  properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child
   23  restraint device that is appropriate for the height and weight
   24  of the child. The device may include a vehicle manufacturer’s
   25  integrated child seat, a separate child safety seat, or a child
   26  booster seat that displays the child’s weight and height
   27  specifications for the seat on the attached manufacturer’s label
   28  as required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213.
   29  The device must comply with the standards of the United States
   30  Department of Transportation and be secured in the motor vehicle
   31  in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The court
   32  may dismiss the charge against a motor vehicle operator for a
   33  first violation of this subsection upon proof that a federally
   34  approved child restraint device has been purchased or otherwise
   35  obtained.
   36         (b) For children aged through 3 years, such restraint
   37  device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s
   38  integrated child seat.
   39         (c) For children aged 4 through 7 5 years who are less than
   40  4 feet 9 inches in height, a separate carrier, an integrated
   41  child seat, or a child booster seat belt may be used. However,
   42  the requirement to use a child booster seat does not apply when
   43  a separate carrier, integrated child seat, or seat belt as
   44  required in s. 316.614(4)(a) is used and the person is:
   45         1.Transporting the child gratuitously and in good faith in
   46  response to a declared emergency situation or an immediate
   47  emergency involving the child; or
   48         2. Transporting a child whose medical condition
   49  necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate
   50  documentation from a health professional.
   51         (d)(b) The Division of Motor Vehicles shall provide notice
   52  of the requirement for child restraint devices, which notice
   53  shall accompany the delivery of each motor vehicle license tag.
   54         (2) As used in this section, the term “motor vehicle” means
   55  a motor vehicle as defined in s. 316.003 that is operated on the
   56  roadways, streets, and highways of the state. The term does not
   57  include:
   58         (b) A bus or a passenger vehicle designed to accommodate 10
   59  or more persons and used for the transportation of persons for
   60  compensation, other than a bus regularly used to transport
   61  children to or from school, as defined in s. 316.615(1)(b), or
   62  in conjunction with school activities.
   63         Section 2. Effective July 1, 2011, a driver of a motor
   64  vehicle who does not violate the then-existing provisions of s.
   65  316.613(1)(c), Florida Statutes, but whose conduct would violate
   66  that provision, as amended January 1, 2012, shall be issued a
   67  verbal warning and given educational literature by a law
   68  enforcement officer.
   69         Section 3. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
   70  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2011.