New bill would make not buckling up kids child abuse in Florida

Florida
94857528_1544130273296

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – MARCH 08: A Chevrolet logo is seen during the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on March 8, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Motor Show showcase novelties of the car industry. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

Newly filed legislation would impose stronger penalties for adults who don’t properly restrain their children in a car.

The Senate bill would allow incidents where unrestrained children are killed or injured to be investigated as child abuse.

In Florida, if your child isn’t wearing a seatbelt, you face a minimum $60 fine. 

Even still, Corporal Patricia Johnson Shaw with the Florida Highway Patrol says unrestrained children in vehicles remains a major problem.

“You’ll have a lot of it actually when they’re picked up from the schools and they’re just jumping in the cars and the parents are taking off,” said Shaw.

Nationwide, in 2016, 723 children ages 12 years and younger died in motor vehicle crashes. 

Of those, 35 percent weren’t restrained.

“When you see that it’s a child it takes it to heart,” said Shaw. “And knowing that, that child was not properly restrained, it makes it even worse.”

A new bill filed for the 2019 session would allow the Department of Children and Families to investigate adults for child abuse if a child passenger is injured or killed because they weren’t properly restrained.

A recent study found that in a single year more than 600,000 children in the US rode in a car at least once without a seat belt or car seat.

Corporal Shaw says kids are much more likely to ride unrestrained if their parents don’t set a good example.

“The example that you set as a parent, that’s the example the kids see,” said Shaw.”If a kid doesn’t see you strapped up, it’s more likely that they wont strap up.”

Currently in Florida, children five and under are required to be restrained in a car or booster seat.

A House companion bill has not been filed yet, but is expected to come soon.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Gasparilla pirates invade local hospitals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla pirates invade local hospitals"

Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla"

Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine

Thumbnail for the video titled "Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine"

Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go"

Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe

Thumbnail for the video titled "Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe"

Mortgage mess fixed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mortgage mess fixed"

Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home

Thumbnail for the video titled "Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home"

New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'

Thumbnail for the video titled "New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'"

Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020"

Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents"

Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss