Choose a
Different State


Florida Driver Handbook: Protecting Children

Study for your upcoming driver's license test or learner's permit exam with the Florida Driver Handbook.

Order now

Florida Driver Handbook: Protecting Children

Order now

Table of Contents

5. Driving Safety

Where's Baby All Children 5 Years Of Age Or Younger Must Use A Restraint Device When Riding In A Motor Vehicle.

The number one killer of young children in the United States is traffic crashes in which children were not restrained at all.

Over 90 percent of the deaths and 80 percent of the injuries in car crashes could be prevented by using crash-tested child restraints. Each passenger on a school bus equipped with safety belts or restraint systems shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt at all times while the bus is in operation. Seat belts on buses are exempt on buses purchased new prior to December 31, 2000.

In passenger vehicles, children should be secured in the rear seat. Never secure a child in the front passenger side, especially if your vehicle has an air bag. The law requires every driver to properly secure children five years of age or younger in child restraint devices riding in a passenger car, van, or pick-up truck, regardless of whether the vehicle is registered in this state. Infant carriers or children's car seats must be used for children up to three years of age and younger. Child restraint requirements do not apply to a chauffeur driven limousine, sedan, van, bus motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and vehicle are for hire; however, it is the obligation and responsibility of the parent, guardian or other person responsible for the child's welfare.

For children aged four through five years of age, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat or a seat belt may be used. All infant carriers and car seats must be crash-tested and approved by the U.S. Government. Children being carried or riding bicycles should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets.

Child Restraint Requirements

Child's Age Restraint Requirement
Up to Three Years of Age Infant Carrier
Four to Five Years of Age Infant Carrier, Integrated Child Seat, or Seat Belt
Over Five Years of Age Safety Belt

5.10.1 - What is the Best Child Seat?

  • The one that fits your child.
  • The one that fits your vehicle.
  • The one that you will use correctly every time.

For more information on the best child seat, please visit: and obtain information on Occupant Protection & Child Passenger Safety News.

5.10.2 - Leaving Children Unattended or Unsupervised in Motor Vehicles

It is dangerous to leave children unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle. The inside temperature of a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes with no ventilation. Even cool temperatures in the 60's can cause the temperature in a vehicle to rise well above 110° Fahrenheit inside your car. Florida law states that a parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child younger than 6 years of age may not leave the child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle for a period in excess of 15 minutes or for any period of time if the motor of the vehicle is running, the health of the child is in danger, or the child appears to be in distress. Violations of this provision of law are a second degree misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500. Violations that cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a child are considered a third degree felony.