More than 200 new state laws – traffic and otherwise – went into effect on New Year’s Day, including one that requires all vehicular passengers, regardless of where they are seated, to wear seat belts at all times.
Previously, only front seat passengers and children in the backseat were required to wear seat belts in Illinois. Violators of the law may be fined at least $25.
Cmdr. Jason Parrott said all police officers in Evanston are aware of the new law and have the power to enforce it. However, he said he did not know if any citations have been issued yet because officers may choose to use the first month as an unofficial educational period.
“A lot of times people are not aware of the new law or ordinance that’s already in effect,” he said. “Generally we do take a little bit of time to give warnings in regards to any new law that’s passed … just to give people time to suspicious.”
Decker said Norshore Cab has not experienced any driver safety issues with the new law thus far, and the company’s drivers have not received any citations.
Though violating the new seat belt law is punishable by a minimum fine of $25 and the possibility of additional court fees, Parrott said he doesn’t believe it will ever be a significant source of revenue for the city.
“I believe that most people … who wear (seat belts) in the front seat will continually wear them in the back seat,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to make a huge impact one way or the other. I think by keeping the public informed, most will