NewsCitrus, Hernando County


Buckle up your kids or you could be investigated for abuse if new law passes

Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 18:11:06-05

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — If you don’t buckle up your kids you could be investigated for child abuse if a new law is passed next year. 

Hernando County Traffic Sgt. William Hillman wants children buckled up and says he sees kids bouncing around in the back of cars way too often.

"When children are not buckled in and are involved in a crash they could be seriously injured or killed," said Hillman.

Right now, if a child is injured in a car accident because they weren’t buckled in, the parents only get a ticket. 

But Senate Bill 128 would classify it as 'child abuse' causing DCF to open an abuse investigation. 

"It may open up other doors that are going on within the household," said Hillman.

Hillman says if the parents are neglecting to buckle their child, who knows what else they are neglecting to do.

"There could be some kind of neglect or abuse that’s gone on beyond that traffic crash," said Hillman

We reached out to DCF on what this bill would mean for them. They tell us this won’t be a change from what they already do, saying they already investigate any time a child is hurt because they aren’t properly restrained in a crash.

The bill will be brought up in the 2019 legislative session.