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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 12/31/2003 9:39:46 AM EDT
Got this in an e-mail today and had to ask what the hell are people in Illinois thinking? I can see height and weight requirements but by age? Good grief.

Kids 4 through 7 must ride in booster seats

December 31, 2003


Driving kids in Illinois will get a little more cumbersome starting Thursday, when a law goes into effect that requires securing children ages 4, 5, 6 and 7 in a booster seat.

Violators risk a $75 ticket.

But supporters of the measure, noting motor-vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children, say things also will get a lot safer for youngsters.

"It might be inconvenient, but it would be very inconvenient to have your child severely injured and very inconvenient if your child was dead as a result of a car crash,'' said state Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago), who sponsored the legislation.

Cullerton hopes the law educates the public and changes driving behavior -- just as tougher seat-belt laws pushed usage rates from 17 percent to 82 percent over the years.

Regardless, the law has caught some parents off guard and left others wondering whether it's a good idea to require kids ages 4 through 7 to ride in a booster.

For some children, following the letter of the law will mean a return -- after two to three years of the adult stuff -- to the constraints of a chair.

And even though a "turbobooster'' model boasts of "foam padding, dual slide-out cup holders for snacks on-the-go and open-loop belt for added comfort,'' some moms expect they will need to do some convincing to their youngsters.

Others wonder how much more tricky it'll be when they have a carload of kids and their friends, or when grandparents are baby sitting.

Under the law, drivers who aren't a child's guardian would not be held responsible if the parent or legal guardian failed to provide booster seats.

Julie Fialkowski, who lives in Lake View on Chicago's North Side, has a very independent 4-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who is tall, like her brother, and already dislikes her booster. Now, she's got another two or three years to go.

But Fialkowski is not going to argue with the change. "We'll deal with it,'' she said.

Still, Fialkowski and other parents question why there's no weight or height exemption, considering how big some kids are at 7.

"I don't think it's a bad thing -- not by any means,'' said mother Kathy Delanty, who lives in Roscoe Village on Chicago's North Side. "I think it should be done more by weight and height."

Delanty has 3-year-old Danny in a car seat -- car seats are required for kids 3 and under -- but Mark, 5, has been out of a car seat for about a year.

There are height and weight recommendations from the federal government, but Cullerton said because it's impractical for officers to measure kids during a traffic stop, the age requirement was used.

The law includes just one exception -- for children who ride in cars that are not equipped with shoulder straps. In that case, kids 4 through 7 can ride strapped in by lap belt alone if they weigh more than 40 pounds.

Lori Ramos, who oversees a program that sells car and booster seats at a reduced cost, doesn't think many parents are aware of the law, and she's expecting a flood of calls after the first tickets are written. She encouraged families to embrace the boosters. "Most 7-year-olds, the belt does not fit them very well,'' said Ramos, executive director of Centro San Bonifacio. "The seat belts are made to fit an adult."

Link Posted: 12/31/2003 9:59:53 AM EDT
WTF does a kids AGE have to do with anything?  It should be based strictly on weight/height.

More bullshit laws written by people that only have enough working brain cells to breath and nothing left over to THINK with.

Link Posted: 12/31/2003 10:03:30 AM EDT
I may be wrong but I believe the age in NYC for booster seats may be 10. [shock]
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 10:07:05 AM EDT
I have been through the carseat checker certification. We have a carseat give away program here where I work. It is weight and height that matters.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 10:50:40 AM EDT
What the article didn't mention was that the lawgivers of illinois based their decision on statistics of children killed/injured in car crashes which included unbuckled children.  Illinois already has a seatbelt law which some people apparently ignore for their children, so I guess we needed another law for them to ignore.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 11:08:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 11:42:24 AM EDT
[sarcasm]Ban cars, it's for the children!  They don't need cars anyways.[/sarcasm]
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:50:45 PM EDT
WTF does a kids AGE have to do with anything?
View Quote

For a short time with the way the SC law was written, many adults were required to ride in booster seats or the back seat!  The law originally did not allow you to sit in the front seat of a car if you were 80 pounds or under and if the person can't "sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching" (as copied from the warning).  I had a state trooper at a license check jokingly say he was going to give me a ticket since my wife was under that weight and is short.  I was in my van, which has very deep, well-padded seats.  Technically at that time, he could have ticketed me.  Putting age limits on the law prevents that type of crap.z
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 1:39:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2003 1:39:24 PM EDT by Karaya1]
What an awesome law, makes all the sense in the world!
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