Car seats for infants and other young children are not easy to install, but the Evanston Police Department has a certified passenger safety (CPS) technician on staff who would be glad to check it for you for free.

CPS Technicians have to undergo four days of training and must earn continuing education units every two years in order to stay certified.  

“It is the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to ensure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time.” said Traffic Bureau Sergeant Tracy Williams.  

“We want to help you do all you can to best protect your child when traveling.  We urge all parents and caregivers to have your car seat checked by a certified technician,” she said, adding that last year EPD inspected/installed 346 car seats.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats–into their second  year.  

Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.  After outgrowing their car seats, children should be placed in booster seats.  

The law in Illinois states that a child must be in an appropriate car seat or booster seat until their eighth birthday.  However, some children are not tall enough at age eight for the seat belt to fit them like an adult, so they need to stay in a booster seat longer.

Inspections/Installations are free of charge and appointments can be made via Evanston 3-1-1 or by calling the traffic bureau at (847) 866-5064.  

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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