Illinois Infant and Child Car Seat Laws

by Joshua on December 10, 2014

Bringing a child or baby on a trip, to a school, or visiting other family members can be exciting for everyone. Transportation can be a godsend for necessary travels with children. However, even though it can be a lot of fun, responsibility and safety must be considered for the sake of the child. Most states now have certain laws protecting the way a child is transported in a vehicle. Illinois is no different.

Illinois Law for children regarding transportation

In Illinois, there is a Child Passenger Protection Act that every driver with kids should know about. This law states that all drivers and passengers must be belted in, no matter what seating positions they have nor what their ages are. Children of 8 years old and under weighing 40 pounds or less must be in an approved child restraint system in a non-commercial vehicle. This child restraint system is mostly known as the child safety seat. This is the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian to secure. Only if the child weighs more than 40 pounds can he or she wear just a lap belt, if the seat is not equipped with both a lap and shoulder belt.

Guidelines for Children in Restraint Systems

There are safety rules regarding safety seats for several brackets of ages for children less than 8 years. Newborns, and those under 12 months that weight less than 20 pounds, must ride in a rear-facing infant seat or use a convertible seat that uses rear-facing. Children from 1 to 2 years should continue to sit in the rear-facing safety seat. When they have outgrown that seat, they may move into a forward-facing seat that has a harness system. Once the child reaches 4 years, they should remain in a forward-facing safety seat with the internal harness until they have surpassed the weight or height limit that the car seat manufacturer has set. At that point, the child can be placed into a belt-positioning booster seat.

Violation Fees

If any person in a vehicle is found without a seat belt on, the fine is $25 in addition to any court costs. This refers to the driver and any accompanying passengers. This is a third of the cost of the fee for children found without a restraint system belt, paid of course, by the person responsible for securing the child. It’s $75 for the first offense and $200 for the second.

The first offense makes the violator eligible for court supervision. He or she must provide the court with proof from a child safety seat technician, that he or she has installed a child restraint system properly and completed an instructional course for the installation of that child safety seat. The second offense disqualifies the violator from any court supervision.

Help has Arrived

There is a new child passenger safety app, or cps app, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics for apple technology users. It’s called the Car Seat Check app. In this mobile app, you can input a child’s age, weight, and height to find right type of child restraint for that child. In addition to that, the app contains links to instructional videos and articles, as well as safety information involving children. The app runs for $1.99 on iphones or ipads and will be available for android users soon.

Transitioning from the Restraint System

Before you move your child from the restraint system to an adult seat belt, you should check to make sure he or she is ready in every capacity to move. There are five steps to test in order to transition your child from safety seat to an adult seat belt. Every question must be answered yes to do so. If you answer no to one or more of them, you child is not ready to sit in an adult seat belt.

Here are the questions:

1. Does the vehicle seat fully protect the child’s head?
2. Are the knees of the child bent over the edge of the vehicle seat and do his feet touch the floor?
3. Does the shoulder belt go cross the child’s shoulders, in between the neck and arm while the lap belt fit low and snug across his or her hips?
4. Does the child sit comfortably all the way back against the vehicle seat?
5. Can the child stay seated in this particular position for the entire trip?

Although the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act may be intricate and steep, these laws were put into place as a result of children not being fully protected in non-commercial vehicles. This law, if followed faithfully, should keep children safe during their ride with adult drivers. Please be a participator in their vehicle safety, enjoyment, and protection by using the child restraint systems for your truck or car.

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