IDOT, secretary of state and AAA launch National Child Passenger
checks available Saturday statewide
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[September 20, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Tuesday, the
Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Secretary of State
Jesse White's office and AAA joined efforts to launch the 2012
National Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. The annual
campaign brings attention to the importance of properly securing all
children in appropriate car seats, booster seats or standard seat
belts. The week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday, when
certified child passenger safety technicians will provide free
advice and hands-on child safety seat inspections at 80 events
This year's campaign, titled "Cookies, Cuddles and Car Seats," is
aimed to create awareness of the role grandparents play regarding
the overall well-being of their grandchildren when traveling.
"Our children and grandchildren depend on us to keep them safe
and secure," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L.
Schneider. "IDOT works diligently each day to further improve our
effective child passenger program and, most importantly, to help
ensure our loved ones travel safely on state roadways."
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children
age 1 through 12 years old. Based on National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration crash data, an average of two children age 12 or
younger in a passenger vehicle were killed and 325 were injured each
day in 2010. This fatality rate could be reduced by nearly half if
the correct car seat were used. In addition, statistics show that 3
out of 4 children are not as secure in the car as they should be,
due to improper car seat usage. Using the correct restraints in
passenger cars reduces infants' chance of fatal injury by 71 percent
and for toddlers by 54 percent.
"Since one of the leading causes of death and injury for children
is automobile crashes, parents should make sure that everyone who
cares for their children are transporting them properly," White
said. "Three out of 4 child safety seats are improperly installed.
Many grandparents are caregivers, and this year's Child Passenger
Safety Week focuses on encouraging them and others to get seats
checked to ensure that little ones are properly secured," White
"In a recent AAA survey of Illinois grandparents, nearly 60
percent of those surveyed drive at least monthly with their young
grandchildren in the car," noted Brad Roeber, regional president of
AAA Chicago. "It's critical, then, that we're reaching these
grandparents with the important message that their grandkids need to
be properly buckled in car seats every trip, every time."
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According to manufacturer
instructions, parents and grandparents are encouraged to follow
NHTSA's car seat recommendation to keep children in their specific
restraint types for as long as possible. For maximum safety, a
parent or caregiver should have the car seat installation inspected
by a certified child passenger safety technician to ensure their
children are in the right seats for their age and size. Additional
guidelines are as follows:
must remain in the back seat from birth of child to the height
and weight limit of the seat, recommended up to 2 years old, but
at a minimum age of 1 and 20 pounds.
seats must be placed in the back seat after the child has
reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat, to
about age 4 and 40-65 pounds.
should be placed in the back seat for children from age 4 to at
Safety belts are for children age 3 or
older and taller than 4-foot-9.
In addition, all children age 13 or younger should ride in the
back seat. As of Jan. 1 this year, safety belt use has been required
in all seated positions.
For more information on child passenger safety and on
statewide seat checks taking place Saturday, visit
Department of Transportation file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]