When can a child sit in the front seat of a car?

Safety, child's size biggest determining factors

ORLANDO, Fla. – The front row is some pretty valuable real estate, especially when it comes to riding up front in the car.

On this week's ride along, News 6 traffic safety expert Steve Montiero was tasked with deciding a pretty big household decision: Whether News 6 anchor and meteorologist Julie Broughton's daughter, Isla, would move from the back seat to riding up front with mom. 

An immediate determining factor would be her age. In the state of Florida anyone up to age 3 is required to be in a child seat. Anyone from the ages 4 to 5 are allowed to move into a booster seat if their size allows for it. 

Any child older than 5 years old depends on size and if they can wear a normal seat belt. This is not very common, with some children still using car seats or booster seats until the age of 10 or 11. 

But with Isla, she’s 8 and the seat belt fits her almost perfect. Responding to the number of crashes that I did as a road trooper and that the state of Florida takes the same position, I would never recommend a child below the age of 12 ever sit up front.

Isla was 100 percent on board with my recommendation and understood it was just for her safety.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.