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ISP and IDOT Team Up to Promote Booster Seat Safety

Updated: Thursday, May 15 2014, 11:13 AM CDT

The Illinois State Police have teamed up with the Illinois Department of Traffic to inform the community about the iumportance of booster seat safety.

As studies shows, they reduce the risk of serious injury to children ages 4-8 by 45%.

"We're just trying to promote public safety...we ask that everybody be properly restrained inside of their vehicles."

Keeping small children safe on the road has become a primary focus for both the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

"We just started looking at our data and noticing that the number of kids that are appropriately restrained in a seatbealt is much, much lower which means that our parents are still transferring their children into a seatbelt way too soon."

Recently, ISP and IDOT teamed up to raise awareness to parents on the importance of children being properly fastened while in a vehicle.

"Most parents would not knowingly put their child at risk, so I have to believe that when a family thinks, 'I'm just going to the store, so we're just going to slap a seatbelt on it and not grab a booster seat out of the other car,' they don't truly understand the severity of injuries or the potential fatalities that could be there just from running to the grocery store."

Jennifer Toney, Occupant Protection Coordinator for IDOT says a booster seat used appropriately with a seatbelt can reduce risk of injury by 59% in comparison to a child using a seatbelt alone.

"A booster seat lifts a child up and makes it so the adult seatbelt fits them the way that it should. Because of their size and their stature, they're not really ready to go into an adult seatbelt from a car seat, so the booster seat helps with that transition phase."

And to help raise awareness, ISP and IDOT will give away free booster seats to the public Thursday.

"Families will come out, they need to sit through a real short education program that really helps explain the why's of why booster seats are important so it's not just because it's the law, but because it's what's best for their children."

Springfield resident Shantel Simons says thanks to IDOT, she now realizes the importance of having her child properly fastened.

"It's important that all of our kids be in booster seats because you never know what could happen when you leave home, go to the grocery store and make it back."

According to IDOT, children inappropriately restrained in a seatbelt are 4 times more likely to suffer head or brain injury than a child in a car seat or booster seat.

The giveaway will take place today from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at Abundant Faith Christian Center in Springfield.

IDOT says they're expecting a good turnout. They are first come, first serve.

ISP and IDOT Team Up to Promote Booster Seat Safety

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