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LATEST NEWS: Illinois State Senator Cullerton Proposes Update to Illinois Booster Law.

BOOST ILLINOIS! New Illinois Laws on Child Passenger Protection

Boosters Save Lives.  According to the Partners for Child Passenger Safety, "Using a BPB [Belt Positioning Booster] with a seat belt instead of a seat belt alone reduces a child's risk of injury by 59%."  Don't let more Illinois children become statistics.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids ages 1-14.  Most of these "statistics" were unrestrained or improperly restrained.  Appropriate laws can help encourage parents to protect their children from the #1 danger to their young lives.

Parents should note that the legal age and weight guidelines are not always adequate to insure the safety of their children.   Kids don't fit well in seatbelts made for adults.  If the seat belt does not fit right, kids will often slouch, lean, pull on the seatbelt or put the shoulder belt behind their arm or back.  That can lead to serious abdominal and head injuries.  A five-step test for proper fit is the best way to make sure a child is as safe as possible.  A booster seat makes sure the seatbelt fits properly. They are available at many stores, with some models starting under $20.  Regardless of the state law, the laws of physics show that children are much safer when they are appropriately restrained.  If you would like more help with selecting or using a booster, please visit these Free Carseat Inspection Resources or the Car-Seat.Org Forums to ask for advice online.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents, "Keep your child in a car safety seat for as long as possible. When your child is big enough, make sure the seat belts in your vehicle fit your child correctly. The shoulder belt should lie across the chest, not the neck or throat. The lap belt must be low and snug across the thighs, not the stomach. In addition, the child should be tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down. Seat belts are made for adults. If the seat belt does not fit your child correctly, she should stay in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits. This is usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age."


Illinois' new "Booster Law" went into effect January 1st, 2004.  In most cases, it is now illegal to transport an unrestrained child in Illinois.  The Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all children up to their 8th birthday must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system (a carseat or booster that meets NHTSA safety standards).  Children between 8 and 16 years old must be seated in a seatbelt, according to the previous law that went into effect January 1, 2002. As these are primary moving violations, you can be stopped and ticketed if a child is observed to be improperly restrained in your vehicle.  How does Illinois compare to other states?  Details of the Illinois law and current laws in other states can be found in the links below:

Details of current Illinois Occupant Safety Laws

SAFE KIDS: Occupant Protection Laws
IIHS: Child Restraint Laws
ADVOCATES: Highway Safety Law Chart

How did your Illinois Congressperson Vote on the new amendment to the Child Passenger Protection Act?



  • Illinois Senator Cullerton introduced a bill to update the Child Passenger Protection Act. PLEASE Contact your senator or representative and urge them to VOTE YES on Senate Bill 0228

  • Illinois Senator Burzynski and co-sponsor Illinois Senator Syverson introduced a bill to essentially repeal the objectives of the new Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act. Please educate the senators and their colleagues, and let them know they should not be putting the lives of Illinois children in danger! PLEASE Contact your senator or representative and urge them to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 2340!

  • Illinois Senator Cullerton has introduced the Child Passenger Safety Technician Act to protect volunteer technicians from liability. Please ask your senator or representative to VOTE YES on Senate Bill 2534!