New Year’s weekend this year doesn’t just entail a ball dropping and people celebrating 2012, but it also brings a new seat belt law that goes into effect January 1st. Our Illinois auto accident lawyers saw that the Journal Standard posted an article online that discussed the new seatbelt law, and what comes with it. The new Illinois law states that “all vehicle occupants in Illinois- even those in the back seat- will be required to wear a safety belt as part of a recently approved law amending the state’s vehicle code.” The Illinois State Police is working with other government groups to create a campaign that will help spread the word about the new law.
The goal of this law is to prevent people from being injured or killed if involved in car accidents. One Illinois State Trooper said that when passengers or drivers do not wear a seatbelt, regardless of where in the car they are sitting, they are in harm’s way and can also be a danger to others. Currently in Illinois, the law states that drivers and front-seat passengers are always required to wear seatbelts. But, in the back seat, only children who are less than 16 years old have to wear seatbelts. If the driver is 19 or older, back seat passengers who are over 16 years old do not have to wear seatbelts at all.
With the new law in place, everyone in the car will be required to have a seat belt. If a driver should violate this law, they will be issued a $60 fine. However, the law does not apply to limousines, buses, and emergency vehicles. Although some officials believe that the law is too invasive, our Chicago accident lawyers do not see a down side in requiring all passengers and drivers on the road to wear a seat belt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts save close to 13,000 lives annually. It is also the most effective thing drivers and passengers can do to better protect themselves in a car accident. Also, many people don’t know that airbags and seatbelts are designed to work together, meaning they function together. If a driver or passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt, they can be thrown into airbags that can severely injure someone or even result in death. Also, the cross body shoulder belt should never be pushed behind the driver or passenger, because then it is not able to protect them from flying forward.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys encourage everyone in the car to always wear a seatbelt. Even though some people may claim that they are uncomfortable or not helpful, the truth is that they are lifesavers. Not only are they lifesavers, but now they are mandatory for every passenger and driver in Illinois.