IDOT, State Police, AAA and Evenflo Announce Seat Check Saturday as Part of
National Child Passenger Safety Week
More Than 80 Free Child Seat Checks Planned Across the State
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Transportation
(IDOT), State Police, AAA, Evenflo and St. John’s Hospital today
announced Seat Check Saturday and called on all parents and
caregivers to ensure children are properly restrained in
correctly installed child safety seats when traveling on
Illinois roadways. On Saturday, September 24, over 80 free child
safety seat checks will take place in Illinois providing parents
with hands-on training from 682 certified child passenger safety
(CPS) technicians. The press conference and seat checks are part
of Illinois’ strategic efforts to raise awareness and boost
safety during the National Child Passenger Safety Week campaign.
“Protecting our loved ones through the proper installation of
child safety seats and parental compliance is a major priority
at IDOT, and is part of our comprehensive traffic safety
mission- to save even more lives on Illinois roadways,” said
Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.
“Illinois’ certified child passenger safety technicians equip
parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to safely
secure their child. We strongly encourage all interested
residents to take advantage and participate in Seat Check
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for
children under 12, because three out of four child safety seats
are used incorrectly. A major safety issue being addressed this
year is the importance of keeping children in their safety seats
up to the maximum upper weight/height limits of the seat. The
new safety recommendation is that infants and toddlers remain
rear-facing until age 2.
According to NHTSA, in passenger cars, child safety seats reduce
the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than
1 in motor vehicle crashes and by 54 percent for children 1 to
4. In 2009 alone, 754 children 12 or younger were killed in
motor vehicle traffic crashes while riding in passenger cars or
light trucks. Many tragedies could have been prevented if the
children were in the right restraint for their age and size.
"Illinois has made great strides in keeping its children safe on
the roadways,” said Brad Roeber, regional president of AAA
Chicago. “But, as survey data tells us, there are still some
parents who need assistance to ensure Illinois children are
safely buckled up. We encourage these and all parents to take
advantage of Seat Check Saturday as AAA wants the roads to be
safe for its youngest travelers."
“It has been well documented that car seats, when properly used
and installed correctly, can save lives and prevent injuries,”
said Susan O’Connor, Patient and Community Educator for The
Birth Center at St. John’s Hospital. “The newest American
Academy of Pediatrics recommendations reinforce the need to use
the appropriate car seat for children (based on their weight,
height and age) for as long as possible before graduating on to
the next type of seat. Parents who follow these guidelines can
provide their children with the best possible protection during
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers
should visit their local inspection station to ensure their
child’s safety seat is used properly: Updated recommendations,
provided below, emphasize how important it is to keep children
in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving
them to the next type.
- Rear-facing seats: In the back seat from birth to the
height and weight limit of the seat. Recommended up to 2
years old, but at a minimum age 1 and 20 pounds.
- Forward-facing seats: In the back seat when the child
has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing
seat to about age 4 and 40-65 pounds.
- Booster seats: In the back seat from about age 4 to at
least age 8.
- Safety belts: At age 8 and older and taller than 4’9’’.
Note: All children younger than 13 should ride in the
As of January 1, 2012, safety belts will be required in all
seating positions in all cars, light trucks and vans. It is
illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to ride in the bed of
a pick-up truck.
The annual National Child Passenger Safety Week campaign,
which runs this year from September 18-24, focuses on increasing
awareness of these issues and provides parents and caregivers
with resources and information to better protect children from
motor vehicle crashes. The activities will wrap-up on Saturday,
September 24 with the signature event--Seat Check Saturday.
Hundreds of seat check events will be taking place at locations
across the country. At each of these events, child passenger
safety technicians will provide free hands-on child safety seat
inspections and offer advice and instruction to parents and
caregivers. All Illinois events are sponsored by AAA, Evenflo
and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of
Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS).
For more information on seat guidelines, Child Passenger Safety
Week or to find a seat check location near you, please visit