A new law in Illinois, the Child Passenger Protection Act, took effect on January 1, 2019. The Child Passenger Protection Act is part of a growing trend among states to mandate the use of rear facing child seats for children under two years of age.
Car accidents are the number two leading cause of death among children from ages 1 to 4? In fact, a child is involved in car accident at a staggering rate of every 33 seconds. Approximately one quarter of children killed in car accidents in the year 2014 were not properly restrained.
Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that car seats reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 71% for infants under 1 and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4.
Given these statistics, in April of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement recommending that children ages 2 and under ride in rear facing child seats. The AAPs policy increased their prior recommendation that children ride in rear-facing child seats until the age of 1. Since the AAP’s policy statement was released, twelve states have enacted their own rear facing child seats law consistent with the policy statement. Of these states, Illinois is the latest member to mandate the safety standard.
Child Passenger Protection Act
The Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act previously required that all children under the age of 8 must be secured in proper child safety seat. Effective January 1, 2019, the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act was amended to include the requirement that all children under the age of 2 be properly secured in rear facing child seats. The only exception to this rule is for children that weigh in excess of 40 pounds or are more than 40 inches in height.
Resources Available to Parents to Ensure Compliance with the Child Passenger Protection Act
The fines for failing to comply with the Child Passenger Protection Act are stiff. A fine of $75 may be issued for the first violation and a fine of $200 for the second violation. Not to mention, of course, that parents are putting the life of their child at stake by failing to abide by the law. With so much on the line, parents should consider taking advantage of the following resources available to Illinois drivers. These resources include:
- Educational Programs from the Secretary of State. Topics include choice of safety seats, seat installation and a review of applicable rear facing child seats law. Safety presentations can be scheduled by completing a form located at: https://www.ilsos.gov/ContactFormsWeb/presentation_drivers.jsp.
- Visit a safety seat fitting station to have the installation of your rear facing seat checked by a certified child safety technician. The fitting stations are located throughout Illinois. The program is known as the Keep Me in a Safe Seat Program. Parents can request an child safety seat inspection by completing the form located at: https://www.ilsos.gov/ContactFormsWeb/childsafetyrequest.jsp.
Should you have further questions regarding the Child Passenger Protection Act or other applicable child safety regulations, consider contacting Glenview attorney Barry Zlotowicz for a free consultation at 847-305-4105.