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New Laws - 2012

Illinois State Capital BuildingAs MyFoxChicago reports that more than 200 new laws took effect in Illinois starting January 1, 2012.  Under some of the new laws: 

One of the new Illinois laws going into effect in the New Year requires that adults wear seat belts while riding in the back seat of a vehicle.

Under the law, people 18 and younger also must wear a seat belt while riding in a taxi for school-related purposes.

Police will be permitted to pull over a car if they see someone violating the law. Passengers caught without a seatbelt will receive a $25 fine.

Synthetic marijuana, sold in convenience stores and gas stations under names such as "K2" and "Head Trip," will be outlawed. The law makes possession or sale of the products a felony with penalties ranging from 1 to 60 years.

Under "Andrea's Law", people convicted of first-degree murder must be added to a new first-degree murder database, similar to the sex offender registry, when they're released from prison or any other facility. The public database would include names, addresses, employment places, schools attended and photos for offenders for up to 10 years after release from prison.

Convicted sex offenders who are employed at or attend a college or university must register with campus public safety.

School boards can suspend or expel a student who makes an explicit threat on a website against another student or any school employees or personnel.

People with an order of protection issued against them must surrender their Firearm Owners Identification Card until the order is lifted. Anyone convicted of domestic battery is ineligible to obtain or keep an FOID card.

Examiner.com also writes about, among others, the following new laws:

Child Abuse Reporting (HB 2093/PA 97-0254)/(SB 1950): Changes legislation to reflect the current criminal penalty for making a false report of child abuse to DCFS, and updates the required posted warning to reflect that a false report is a Class 4 felony violation. 

Aggravated Intimidation (SB 1739/PA 97-0162): Establishes that a person has committed aggravated intimidation if they knew their victim was a civilian reporting information about a forcible felony to a law enforcement agency, and the offense was committed for that reason. 

Motorcycles will have more freedom on the road. Since the bikes are often too light to trigger traffic signals, riders will be allowed to drive through red lights after waiting a "reasonable period of time." A reasonable wait isn't clearly defined in the new law.

Brooke Hasch at Connecttristates.com adds the following new laws, among others: 

House Bill 3238 expands the list of those arrested or convicted of certain crimes who are required to submit to DNA testing. Crimes include first-degree murder, home invasion, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault.

House Bill 3283 enacts tougher penalties for filming, videotaping or creating a moving image of child pornography, or possessing such items.

Senate Bill 1038 provides tools to prosecute individuals who attempt to lure children for sexual purposes. Under the new law, individuals convicted of child luring must undergo a sex offender evaluation prior to sentencing. The law also increases the penalty to a Class 2 felony for the second offense when the person has a prior conviction of a sex offense.

House Bill 3281 allows a school board to suspend or expel a student who has made an explicit threat on a website against a school employee or student.

Another law of the road will take effect on January 3, 2012 for truckers everywhere. Truck drivers will no longer be able to use hand held mobile devices. Drivers won't be able to bypass this rule by using their speaker phone. It outlaws all mobile hand held phones completely. If you must use a phone, you're required to pull off the road and park your vehicle in a safe zone.

WGN-TV also reports on the following new laws at www.wgntv.com: 

Large Truck Speed Limit: Extends the uniform speed limit that currently exists for Interstate highways to include four-lane divided highways. Provides that outside the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will, the speed limit for trucks is uniform with cars, or 65 mph, on four lane divided highways.

Rental Car Traffic Citations: Allows for a rental car company to provide the name of a previous renter to the Secretary of State to ensure the renter of a car, not the rental company, receives any citation issued to them as the result of an automated traffic camera.

Uninsured Driving: Requires mandatory maximum fines for a person who has multiple convictions of driving an uninsured motor vehicle. Requires that a $2,500 fine be imposed, in addition to any jail sentence, for an individual convicted of driving an uninsured vehicle that results in bodily harm to another person, if the defendant has two or more convictions for driving an uninsured vehicle. Requires the same fee for a person who receives a third conviction of uninsured operation of a motor vehicle that leads to bodily injury to another. Sets the fee at $1,000 for an individual convicted of a third or subsequent violation of uninsured operation of a vehicle that does not result in bodily injury. 

Vehicle Occupancy Restrictions: Bans riding in a trailer, semitrailer, farm wagon or any other vehicle while it is being towed upon a public highway, unless necessary due to an emergency situation.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.  More than 200 new laws in Illinois took effect on January 1, 2012. 

 

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