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.