Safety Laws in Florida
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Anyone riding in the front seat of a car built after 1968 must wear a seat belt. (The threshold is 1972 for trucks.)
However, if you're under the age of 18, you must be protected by either a seat belt or an appropriate restraint device no matter where you're sitting.
If a passenger under the age of 18 violates this law, the driver will be held responsible. After that age, each passenger is held accountable. Violators will be fined at least $30.00 for the offense, plus court costs.
Passengers 5 years of age or younger need to be secured in a government-approved child restraint or safety seat. Children under three years old must be seated in either an approved infant carrier or child safety seat.
If you're in the market for one, you can shop online for a child car seat at any time. When ordering, be sure the car seat matches your child's height, weight and age.
Note: Children should always be placed in the back seat, as it offers the most protection in a crash, and also avoids dangers associated with front-seat air bags.
Headlights must be turned on between sunset and sunrise, and during periods of rain or fog.
Florida doesn't impose any statewide restrictions on cell phone use while driving a vehicle. This also applies to texting.
If you're at least 21 years old and have a minimum medical insurance policy of $10,000, you can bypass wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
However, all riders must have some sort of eye protection, such as goggles or glasses, or have a windshield on the bike.
Anyone spotting a driver who is driving suspiciously or dangerously can dial *347 (*FHP) at no charge on a cell phone to report the situation to the Florida Highway Patrol.
You may also report an unsafe driver with a medical condition to the DMV's Medical Review Board by completing a Medical Reporting form.
If you're supervising a child under the age of six, you're legally allowed to leave the child unattended in a vehicle for a maximum of 15 minutes.
However, you cannot leave the child unattended for any period of time if the vehicle is running, or if doing so places the child's health or safety in danger (such as on hot days).
Law enforcements officers may do whatever is necessary to free an unattended child from a vehicle when the situation warrants it.
Anyone violating these laws can be charged with a noncriminal traffic infraction, and face a fine of anywhere between $50 and not more than $500, depending on the circumstances of the offense.
Other Topics in This Section
- Traffic Alerts
- 511 Traffic Systems
- Tire Recalls
- Safety Laws
- How Emotions Affect Driving
- Driving in Hazardous Conditions
- Teen Drivers: A Beginner's Guide
- Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys
- Packing Your First-Aid Kit
- Seven Senior Safety Suggestions
- Wildlife on the Road
- When to Call Wildlife Rescue
- Taking A Mature Driver Course
- Medications & Driving
- Night Driving
- Hallucinations on the Road
- How To Drive Distraction Free
- Treating Motion Sickness
- Road Rage: How To Deal With It
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