Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Encourage Parents to Keep Children Safe While Driving

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 9, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will further encourage parents across the state to properly secure their young children in safety seats when traveling Illinois’ roads and highways.

“There is nothing more sacred than the safety of our children,” said Governor Quinn. “This important new law will encourage parents to properly secure their young children while driving and help save lives on Illinois’ roads.”

House Bill 4691, sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) and Sen. Louis Viverito (DBurbank), increases penalties and encourages safety education for parents who do not secure their children in a properly-installed child safety seat while driving.

Under the new law, the fine for a first violation of the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act increases from $50 to $75, and fines for subsequent violations increase from $100 to $200. The legislation also encourages parents to get proper child safety education. Parents who complete a certified child passenger safety course and own an approved child safety seat will be eligible to have their fine for the first violation dropped.

House Bill 4691 passed the General Assembly nearly unanimously and takes effect on January 1.

Current Illinois law requires anyone who transports a child under the age of eight in their vehicle to properly secure that child in a child safety seat. Children under eight who weigh more than 40 pounds do not have to ride in child safety seats as long as they are buckled into a lap belt in the back seat.

Governor Quinn has made the reduction of traffic crash fatalities and the improvement of traffic safety a top priority of his administration. Last fall Governor Quinn signed a law, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, which bans the use of cell phones in construction zones as well as school zones. Additional legislation signed into law last August bans text messaging while driving on all Illinois roads. The penalty for violating either measure is a moving violation that will go on the motorist’s driving record as well as fines and court costs to be determined by the judge.