Circuit Court reaches out to churches to save lives
Released on 5/11/2012 2:36:11 PM

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans today announced that the court has initiated a public awareness campaign involving more than 50 local churches to highlight the use of child safety seats. The campaign was launched Tuesday, February 12, 2002, at a free child safety seat check coordinated by the Illinois Department of Transportation at the Apostolic Church of God, located at 6320 S. Dorchester in Chicago's Woodlawn community.

"Even though most parents and caregivers understand the importance of child passenger safety, traffic crashes continue to be the number one cause of death and injury for children after the first year of life," said Chief Judge Evans. "In seeking ways to reduce injuries and save lives, the court has reached out to faith-based organizations because of the tremendous influence they exercise in improving the quality of life in our communities. It is our hope that the religious leaders who have responded to the court's request will address their congregations and parishioners this week on the importance of the proper use of child safety seats every time children are in a motor vehicle."

Judge Patrick E. McGann, Project Director of the Circuit Court of Cook County's Community Safety Initiative, said, "Even though child fatalities have decreased 16 percent across the country since 1996, much needs to be done and getting the word out is the key."

In addition to asking religious leaders to speak to church members during services, the court also provided churches with a variety of free informational publications and materials on child safety seats. Materials offered included camera-ready art, drop-in articles, and fact sheets for use in church bulletins, as hand-outs or for display. All materials were made available in both English and Spanish. Churches were also given the opportunity to sign up to receive the court's quarterly Drive Wise, Stay Alive newsletter.

Joining Chief Judge Evans for the announcement held at the start of National Child Passenger Safety Week (February 11 through 17, 2002) were Bishop Arthur Brazier, Pastor, Apostolic Church of God; Judge Jacqueline P. Cox, Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District; Bruce Carmitchell, Bureau Chief, Division of Traffic Safety, Illinois Department of Transportation; Commander Ronald P. Sodini, Chicago Police Department Traffic Administration; Don McNamara, Regional Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Deputy Director Daniel W. Kent, Illinois State Police, Operations.

The child safety seat check held at the Apostolic Church of God was conducted by trained technicians from IDOT, the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department. Seats were checked for proper installation by the technicians who also instructed parents and caregivers on how to properly restrain children. Approximately 60 new car seats were made available by IDOT for those families whose own child safety seats did not meet safety standards or whose seats were the subject of safety recalls.

The Community Safety Initiative is a judge-led effort which for the past six years has conducted numerous activities to improve traffic safety and save lives. It receives funding through a grant by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administered through IDOT.

The following churches have joined the court's public awareness campaign highlighting child safety seats: All Saints-St. Anthony Church, 518 West 28th Place; Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Morgan, 11401 South Vincennes Avenue; Bethlehem Unity M.B. Church, 5655 West Madison Street; Bray Temple CME Church, 1049 East 73rd Street; Epiphany Parish, 2524 South Keeler Avenue; Evangelistical Outreach Ministry, 4300 West Madison Street; Faith Community of St. Sabina, 1210 West 78th Place; Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church , 3300 South King Drive; Holy Cross/ Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4541 South Wood Street; Immaculate Conception Church, 2944 East 88th Street; Kingdom Baptist Church, 301 North Central Avenue; Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 South Longwood Drive; Mount Carmel M.B. Church, 740 East 42nd Street; Mount Hope M.B. Church, 6034 South Princeton Avenue; New Original Church of God in Christ, 1750 East 78th Street; New Home Baptist Church, 349 South Cicero Avenue; Normal Park Baptist Church, 6950 South Stewart Avenue; Notre Dame de Chicago Church, 1335 West Harrison Street; Our Lady Gate of Heaven Church, 2338 East 99th Street; Our Lady Mother of the Church, 8747 West Lawrence Avenue; Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3121 West Jackson Boulevard; Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3200 East 91st Street; Providence of God Catholic Church, 717 West 18th Street; Queen of Angels Church, 4412 North Western Avenue; Queen of the Universe Church, 7114 South Hamlin Avenue; Rain or Shine Baptist Church, 704 East 43rd Street; Saint Columbanus Church, 331 East 71st Street; Saint Felicitas Church, 1526 East 84th Street; St Philip Neri School, 2132 Est 72nd Street; Saint Simon the Apostle Church, 5155 South California Avenue; Salem Gospel Center Church, 7250 South Cottage Grove Avenue; Siloam M.B. Church, 1522 South Sawyer Avenue; St. Agnes of Bohemia, 2651 South Central Avenue; St. Adrian Church, 7000 South Fairfield; St. Bede the Venerable, 8200 South Kostner Avenue; St. Benedict Parish, 2215 West Irving Park Road; St. Benedict the African East, 340 West 66th Street; St. Daniel the Prophet Church, 5330 South Nashville Avenue; St. Denis Parish, 8301 South St. Louis Avenue; St. Dorothy Church, 450 East 78th Street; St. Fidelis Parish, 1406 North Washtenaw Avenue; St. Gabriel Church, 4522 South Wallace Street; St. John Bosco Church, 2250 North McVicker Avenue; St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 7747 South Emerald Avenue; St. Mark A.M.E. Church/Sojouner Truth, 3040 West Washington Street; St Mark United Methodist Church, 8441 South St. Lawrence Avenue; St. Mary of the Assumption, 310 East 137th Street; St. Mary of the Woods, 7033 North Moselle Avenue; St. Michael's Church, 1633 North Cleveland Avenue; St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 4646 North Austin Avenue; St. Teresa of Avila Church, 1047 West Armitage Avenue; St. Thaddeus Church, 9940 South Harvard Avenue; True Light Church, 7300 South Maryland Avenue; Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church, 3610 South Giles Avenue; and Zion Temple Baptist Church, 7010 South Union Avenue.