September 15-21 is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and each year agencies and organizations around the country take this opportunity to help educate and promote kids safety in vehicles. For its part, the Illinois Tollway is constantly looking for ways to promote public safety. That’s why each summer our agency partners with the Illinois State Police District 15 to host and promote a series of KISS, or Kids Identification and Safety Seat Events.
Child seats and booster seats are one of the easiest ways to help keep kids safe, and when properly installed, the seats can reduce fatal injuries in a crash by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car seats saved the lives of an estimated 328 children in 2016, the NHTSA said. Illinois State Police find that as many as 90 percent of the safety seats they inspect are not properly installed, putting children at greater risk of injury or death if a crash occurs.
“As part of our commitment to safety, it is a priority of ours to continually look for ways to engage customers in a conversation on safety,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “As a father of six, I know first had it’s not always easy to correctly install car seats. These events hopefully help families get it right, and potentially save lives.”
Throughout this summer, the Illinois Tollway and ISP District 15 has hosted 10 events throughout northern Illinois. Throughout these efforts, more than 227 seats and 607 identification cards have been created.
But if you’ve missed our events, there’s still time!
National Child Passenger Safety Month coincides with the Tollway’s 12th annual Family Safety Fair on September 21st in Downers Grove and all share the same goal—assisting parents and caregivers in protecting children when they’re on the road.
Parents and other caregivers can participate by bringing the child safety seats, children and the vehicle in which the seats will be installed to the Family Safety Fair between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The fair will be at Tollway headquarters, 2700 Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove.
You can also catch us on our final event of the year, at IKEA Schaumburg, 1800 E. McConnor Pkwy, Schaumburg, Illinois on September 29th.
The inspections and installations at any of our events will be done by certified child passenger safety technicians, reassuring parents and caregivers that the child seats are correctly installed to properly protect the youngsters riding in them. The inspections also help parents comply with state law, which requires a person transporting a child under age 8 to properly secure them in the appropriate seat. Drivers also will be able to obtain up-to-date safety seat information and educational information.
For the Illinois Tollway, driver and passenger safety is a year round effort. For more information on all our efforts to promote roadway safety, please visit our website here. Also, if you’d like more information with regard to changes in Illinois’ Move Over Law please click here.