Illinois law requires all drivers and passengers (front and back seat) age 8 and older
to wear safety belts even if the vehicle is equipped with air bags. Passengers under
age 8 must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system as covered by the Child
Passenger Protection Act (see page 20). When riding in a truck with only a front seat
equipped with safety belts, a child under age 8 must be secured in an appropriate
child restraint system.
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If a passenger has a disability or medical condition that makes him/her unable to
secure his/her own safety belt, the driver is responsible for securing and adjusting the
safety belt for that passenger.It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that ALL passengers obey the safety belt
law and the Child Passenger Protection Act. Anyone found guilty of disobeying this
law is subject to a fine and court costs.
Safety Belt Fitting
The lap belt should be worn across the hip bones and should never be positioned
across the stomach or soft part of the abdomen. The shoulder strap should be as snug
as possible yet allow the driver to reach important controls. Adjust the shoulder strap
so it is comfortable and does not cross the body at or near the neck or face.
Air Bag Safety
Air bags are designed to provide supplemental protection in combination with safety
belts. Air bags are lifesaving devices, but special precautions should be taken when
driving in air bag-equipped vehicles.
A distance of 10-12 inches between the driver and the air bag is desirable, especially for short, elderly or pregnant drivers. Shorter drivers may use foot pedal extenders.
Passengers should position their seats as far back as possible, tilting the seat back
slightly if necessary.
Children riding in the front seat can be seriously injured or killed when an air bag
deploys in a crash. Therefore, it is recommended that children age 12 and younger be
properly secured in the back seat. If a child under age 8 must ride in the front passenger seat with an active air bag, he/she should be in a properly installed, appropriate
forward-facing child safety seat with the seat as far back as possible. Rear-facing
child safety seats should be secured only in the back seat of a vehicle and should
never be installed in front of an active airbag.
Child Passenger Protection Act
The Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all children under age 8 be properly
secured in an appropriate child safety restraint system. This includes the use of booster seats, which must only be used with a lap/shoulder safety belt. If the back seat of
the vehicle is not equipped with lap/shoulder type safety belts, a child weighing more
than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat without a booster seat, secured
with a lap belt only.