Changes in Child Restraint Law (Booster Seats)
FAQs, Facts & Figures
What is changing about Florida's Child Restraint Law?
Beginning January 1, 2015, children aged 4 and 5 must be secured in a crash-‐tested, federally
approved child restraint device such as child safety seat or a booster seat. Previously, 4 and 5
year-‐olds could be restrained with just a seatbelt, but this is no longer the case; the seat belt must
be used in conjunction with a booster seat.
Are there any exceptions to this requirement?
Yes, 4 and 5 year-‐olds can be secured with just a seatbelt if the child: 1) is being given a ride as a favor by someone who is not a member of their immediate family; 2) is being transported in a medical emergency; or, 3) has a medical condition documented by a health professional that necessitates an exception.
Do public transport vehicles have to provide car seats/booster seats?
No. It is the obligation and responsibility of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for a
child's welfare to provide child restraint seats in motor vehicles hired for transporting persons in
exchange for compensation (e.g., taxi, bus, limousine, motor coach, etc.).
Can a 3 year-‐old ride in a booster seat?
No. Children age 3 and under must be secured in a separate carrier (a car seat that is attached to
the vehicle's seat) or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child seat.
When will my child be ready for just a seatbelt?
Many children need booster seats even beyond the age of 5, depending on the size of the child and where the seatbelt crosses the body. The following recommendations can help you determine if your child is ready to wear a seatbelt without a booster seat:
• the child is at least 4'9" tall;
• the child can sit all the way back in the seat and bend knees at the edge of the seat;
• the shoulder belt lays across the chest, not the neck;
• the lap belt lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
Facts & Figures:
• Riding while improperly restrained is one of the reasons traffic accidents are the leading
cause of death for American children ages 5 to 14. [NHTSA]
• Children ages 2 to 5 who use safety belts prematurely are four times more likely to suffer a serious head injury in a crash than those in child safety seats or booster seats. [Safekids.org]
• Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years
when compared with seat belt use alone. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
• In 2013, 5 children were killed and 150 injured in Florida traffic crashes as a result of improper or no child restraint use. As of 12/24/14, 5 children have been killed and 145 injured for the same reason in 2014. [Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles]
See §316.613 (2014) Fla. Stat, for more information on Child Restraint Requirements.
To locate the nearest child car seat inspection station, visit:
After 22 years of service, Sergeant Charles "Charlie" Hood is retiring. Charlie started in the jail as a Detention Deputy with the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office on January 6, 1992. In March, 1996, he was promoted to a Corporal Detention Deputy.
In October, 1998, Charlie started on the road as a Deputy Sheriff. In 2001 he was promoted to a corporal Deputy Sheriff and then in March, 2008, Charlie was promoted to Sergeant Deputy Sheriff in the Civil Division. At retirement, Charlie was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
Pictured is Undersheriff Noel Stephen presenting Charlie with a Florida Sheriff's Association watch for more than 20 years of service.
Undersheriff Noel Stephen stated, "Charlie was a very dedicated and faithful employee. Thank you for your service to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and the Okeechobee community."
Congratulations Charlie! Go Noles!
On December 23, 2014, Sheriff Paul C. May and Undersheriff Noel Stephen presented Administrative Assistant Juanita White with a 35-year service pin. Congratulations Juanita!
ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office needs your help in identifying the male suspect in the attached pictures.
On December 19, 2014, the suspect fraudulently charged over $8292.00 at different locations.
The suspect is a black male, with facial hair and medium build.
No further information at this time.
If you have any information about this suspect, contact Detective Ted VanDeman at (863)763-3117, ext. 5104.
SAFE PARTY GUIDE
Social responsibility...this phrase encompasses everything from planning the party menu to assessing how guests will get home safely once the part is over. Your role as a responsible party host can keep your friends and loved ones safe.
What Every Host Needs to Know
- Don't rely on coffee to sober up your guests. Only time can make someone sober.
- Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contact the same amount of alcohol.
- Don't rely on someone's physical appearance to determine if he or she has had too much to drink.
- Mixers won't help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person's system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more.