Since 1985, Illinois has had a mandatory seat belt law. However, officers were not permitted to stop a vehicle based solely on this observed violation. On January 1st, 2004, officers were given the right to stop a vehicle for an occupant not wearing a belt. In 2013, Illinois mandated that drivers and passengers in vehicles had to wear a seat belt. Currently, the seat belt usage rate in Illinois is around 93.6%, an increase of 58% since 1985.
Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, 45% of the fatal crashes that occurred in Illinois were a result of the occupant not wearing a seatbelt. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, in 2012 safety belts saved an estimated 12,174 lives. If everyone had buckled up, an additional 3,031 deaths could have been prevented.
The Evanston Police Department wants to see an increase in seat belt use, thereby lessening the chance of a serious injury or death as a result of the traffic crash. It only takes a moment – please buckle-up: “Everyone, Every Trip, Every Time.”
Child Passenger Protection Act
The Child Passenger Protection Act was established to protect the health and safety of children through the proper use of "approved child restraint systems.” Parents or legal guardians of a child under eight are responsible for providing an approved child safety seat to anyone who transports his or her child.
The act requires that whenever a person is transporting a child under age 8, the person is responsible for properly securing the child in an appropriate child restraint system, which includes a booster seat. Every person, when transporting a child 8 years of age or older, but under age 16, is responsible for properly securing that child in a seat belt. If the vehicle used to transport children under eight years of age is equipped with lap belts only in the back seat and the child weighs more than 40 pounds, the child may be transported in the back seat wearing a lap belt only. If a combination lap and shoulder belt is available, the child must be secured in a booster seat.
Seat Belt Education:
- Safety Tips
- Seat Belt Statistics
- Seat Belt Safety: