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Understanding Illinois' Seat Belt and Helmet Laws

pDriverAndInstructor_10355204_s-300x200.jpgIllinois law requires all vehicle occupants, including every backseat passenger, to use a safety belt. The only exceptions to the backseat seat belt requirement are ambulances, taxis, school buses, delivery trucks that make frequent stops and do not exceed 15 mph, and anyone with a physical impairment that makes it difficult to wear a seat belt (such as a broken collarbone or shoulder injury). Violations may result in fines starting at $25, which could amount to more, depending on court costs.

Illinois Car Seat Laws

As mentioned above, Illinois law requires the driver and all passengers, regardless of age or location in the vehicle, to be secured in a seat belt or an appropriately approved child restraint system. Additionally, Illinois law provides the following regarding child restraint laws: "Any person transporting a child under the age of 8 years shall be responsible for securing that child in an appropriate child restraint system, more commonly called a child safety seat. The parent or legal guardian of the child under the age of 8 years shall provide a child restraint system to any person who transports his or her child. A child 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 of the motor vehicle is not equipped with a combination lap and shoulder belt. Additionally, child safety experts make the following recommendations when it comes to car seat safety:

  • Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years of age or reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat's manufacturer.
  • Children two years of age or older who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car seat, should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat's manufacturer.
  • Once a child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat, he or she should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the age 8 or the vehicle seat belt fits properly, whichever comes later.
  • Children should ride in the back seat until at least age 12.

The Illinois Secretary of State's Office offers child safety seat inspections by certified child safety seat technicians at many Driver Services facilities throughout the state through its Keep Me In a Safe Seat Program. Parents are encourages to visit one of these car seat facilities to ensure that their child's car seat is safe and properly installed. To schedule a child safety seat inspection, you can call (866) 247-0213 or complete the Request a Child Safety Seat Inspection form online.

Illinois Helmet Laws

Illinois is one of only three states (along with Iowa and New Hampshire) that does not require use of a motorcycle helmet. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, known as universal helmet laws. Laws requiring only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 28 states.  

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

If you were injured in a car crash or other personal injury accident, you should contact an injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your accident claim is handled appropriately. Most personal injury lawyers work under a contingency fee arrangement, which means that you don't pay unless you win. Contact the Chicago accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your auto accident claim.     Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.

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