Child Safety & Seat Belt Laws
Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act
The Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act requires anyone who transports children in Illinois in non-commercial vehicles to do so in the following manner:
- According to the Illinois Graduated Driver Licensing System, if the driver is 16 or 17, the above passenger restraint requirements extend to all passengers under the age of 19, rather than 18.
- Children ages 8 through 15 must be secured either in a safety seat or by a safety belt in any position in the vehicle.
- Children under age eight must be secured in an approved child restraint system, more commonly known as a child safety seat. Child safety seats include infant seats, convertible seats (rear facing for infants and forward facing for toddlers), and booster seats that are used with the vehicle lap and shoulder belt system.
- Children weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat of a motor vehicle while wearing only a lap belt if the back seat is not equipped with a lap and shoulder belt system for booster seat installation. If there is a lap and shoulder belt system, the child must be in a booster seat.
- Every person under the age of 18 years who transports a child eight years of age and older (up to 18 years) is responsible for securing that child in a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.
- The parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of eight years is responsible for providing a child safety seat to anyone who transports his or her child.
Those found in violation of the law the first time will be fined $75, which is waived upon proof of possession of an approved seat and proof of completion of an instructional course on the installation of that system. The fine for subsequent violations is $200 and aforementioned waiving of the fine does not apply.
Children with physical disabilities that prevent the use of standard safety seats are exempt from the provisions of the law if the disability is duly certified by a physician.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website has plenty of additional information relating to child safety seats, including a usage chart (which includes weight considerations), and a One Minute Safety Seat Checklist.
Illinois law requires that "each driver and passenger in a vehicle operated on a street or highway in this State shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt". It is the responsibility of the driver to see that all passengers ages 8 through 15 obey this law.
Anyone found guilty of disobeying this law may have to pay $25 for the fine plus court costs.
Read the Illinois Safety Belt Law.
It is nationally recommended that all children ages 12 and under ride in the back seat.
Anyone with questions can either contact the Vernon Hills Police Department at 847-362-4449.