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New Seat Belt Law: Back Seat Passengers Must Buckle Up, Too

Fri February 03 2012 1:48 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=50860
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Arlington Heights Police are reminding residents that the Illinois Vehicle Code now requires that ALL passengers, including previously exempt back seat riders age 18 and older, to buckle up. The new law now in effect makes seat belts mandatory for all passengers in vehicles and allows the police to stop any car with an unbelted rider. There will continue to be a seat belt exception to back-seat passengers in taxis as well as school buses.

The law also states that vehicle occupants “… shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened …” seat safety belt. Many times drivers are seen wearing the upper portion of the safety belt underneath their arm and not over the shoulder area – however this manner of wear does not prevent their forward movement during a collision event, and compromises the purpose of the occupant restraint system.


Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. When worn correctly, safety belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans.

The Illinois Institute for Highway Safety says back seat seatbelt use will save lives and not just back seat passengers. The agency says front seat passengers and drivers are often injured in serious crashes when the back seat passengers are not buckled. That’s because the unbuckled passengers are thrown forward with such force that anyone in the front seat could be seriously injured.

Statewide seat belt usage has increased from 64.5 percent in 1998 to nearly 93 percent in 2010, contributing to a lower fatality rate, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

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