FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/28/2011
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
E-mail:johnmaszinski@isms.org
Illinois Docs Herald Lifesaving New Seat Belt Law
Illinois Docs Herald Lifesaving New Seat Belt Law
Everyone in vehicle must buckle up beginning January 1

Chicago, IL -- Illinois' new seat belt law will save lives and reduce injuries due to auto accidents, the Illinois State Medical Society today predicted. Beginning January 1, state law will require all passengers to buckle up – not just those in the front seat.Previously, only the driver, front seat passengers, and certain others under the age of 19 were mandated to wear seatbelts.

"ISMS supported this law because it's another step forward in making our highways and streets safer. When it comes to motor safety, it shouldn't matter whether you're riding in the back or the front," said ISMS President Wayne V. Polek, M.D. "Anyone who doubts the importance of this law should ask an emergency department doctor about patients rushed to the hospital with serious injuries because they weren't wearing a seatbelt."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates an injury occurs in a traffic collision every 15 seconds and a fatality occurs every 13 minutes. Yet, only 68 percent of Americans use seat belts.

"If everyone in every vehicle wears his or her seat belt properly, we will see a significant drop in serious injuries and fatalities from traffic accidents," Dr. Polek said. "It will reduce the strain on emergency departments, the cost of healthcare and, most important, make sure we all arrive safely to the homes of our families and friends this holiday season."

Illinois becomes the 12th state to require all vehicle occupants to buckle up or face fines. A few exceptions are allowed, most notably for backseat taxi passengers. ISMS urges them to buckle up, too!

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Please call 312-580-6440 or e-mail johnmaszinski@isms.org to arrange an interview with a physician to discuss this new law and vehicle safety.

ISMS is a professional membership association representing 12,000 physicians practicing in all medical specialties statewide. Dr. Polek is an anesthesiologist from St. Charles.


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