Child safety seats focus of new law in Illinois

Two new Illinois laws that took effect Jan. 1 include child passenger and bike safety initiatives.

One of the laws will require parents and caregivers to secure children in rear-facing safety seats until they are 2 years old or weigh 40 pounds or more or measure 40 or more inches tall.

“Children are five times safer riding in a rear-facing seat because their head, neck and spine are better protected in a crash,” Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said. White supported both of the new laws. 

“Let’s make sure we keep our children safe by putting them in an appropriate car seat that is properly installed.”

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1-13, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA.

The Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act states that children under age 8 must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system, including booster seats.

Car seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, according to NHTSA.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office, through its Keep Me in a Safe Seat program, provides child safety seat inspections by certified child safety seat technicians at 10 driver services facilities throughout the state. 

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 866-247-0213 or visit

The second law that was enacted at the beginning of the year places more emphasis on bicycle safety for those taking Illinois Secretary of State driver exams. 

Test questions about the Dutch Reach, a technique drivers are encouraged to use in order to avoid hitting bicyclists with their car doors and other bike safety measures, will be included on the Illinois Secretary of State’s driver’s exam and in the 2018/2019 Rules of the Road.

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The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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