Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 454
       By Senator Altman
       16-00213-14                                            2014454__
    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 age 7 years or
    5         younger who are less than a specified height;
    6         providing exceptions; redefining the term “motor
    7         vehicle” to exclude certain vehicles from such
    8         requirements; providing a grace period; requiring a
    9         law enforcement officer to issue a warning and give
   10         educational literature to an operator of a motor
   11         vehicle during the grace period under certain
   12         circumstances; providing effective dates.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Effective January 1, 2015, paragraph (a) of
   17  subsection (1) and paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
   18  316.613, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   19         316.613 Child restraint requirements.—
   20         (1)(a) A person who operates Every operator of a motor
   21  vehicle as defined in this section on the roadways, streets, or
   22  highways of this state, while transporting a child who is 7 in a
   23  motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of
   24  this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger and
   25  less than 4 feet 9 inches in height shall, provide for
   26  protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested,
   27  federally approved child restraint device that is appropriate
   28  for the height and weight of the child. The device may include a
   29  separate carrier, a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child
   30  seat, or a child booster seat that displays the child’s height
   31  and weight specifications for the seat on the attached
   32  manufacturer’s label as required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
   33  Standard No. 213, “Child Restraint Systems,” 49 C.F.R. s.
   34  571.213. The device must comply with the standards of the United
   35  States Department of Transportation and be secured in the motor
   36  vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The
   37  court may dismiss a charge against a motor vehicle operator for
   38  a first violation of this section upon proof that a federally
   39  approved child restraint device has been purchased or otherwise
   40  obtained.
   41         1. For children younger than 4 aged through 3 years of age,
   42  such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle
   43  manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
   44         2. For children between the ages of 4 and 7 who are less
   45  than 4 feet 9 inches in height aged 4 through 5 years, a
   46  separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster
   47  seat belt may be used. However, the requirement to use a child
   48  restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a
   49  safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the
   50  motor vehicle operator is:
   51         a.Transporting the child gratuitously and in good faith in
   52  response to a declared emergency situation or an immediate
   53  emergency involving the child; or
   54         b. Transporting a child whose medical condition
   55  necessitates an exception as indicated by appropriate
   56  documentation from a health professional.
   57         (2) As used in this section, the term “motor vehicle” means
   58  a motor vehicle as defined in s. 316.003 that is operated on the
   59  roadways, streets, and highways of the state. The term does not
   60  include:
   61         (b) A bus or a passenger vehicle designed to accommodate 10
   62  or more persons which is used for the transportation of persons
   63  for compensation, other than a bus regularly used to transport
   64  children to or from school, as defined in s. 316.615(1)(b), or
   65  in conjunction with school activities.
   66         Section 2. Effective July 1, 2014, an operator of a motor
   67  vehicle who does not violate the then-existing provisions of s.
   68  316.613(1)(a), Florida Statutes, but whose conduct would violate
   69  that paragraph as amended January 1, 2015, shall be issued a
   70  verbal warning and given educational literature by a law
   71  enforcement officer.
   72         Section 3. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
   73  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2014.