Many New Illinois Laws In Effect Next Year Deal With Safety

December 31, 2015

Of the 237 new laws taking effect in Illinois on January 1, 2016, several relate to improving safety within the state. These include:

Amusement Ride Regulations (HB 3359/PA 99-0116): Provides that slides of all sizes operated by an amusement vendor be considered an amusement ride and subject to regulation.

Elevator Safety (SB 718/PA 99-0022): Provides that the Office of the State Fire Marshal shall authorize the issuance of elevator contractor’s licenses, elevator mechanic’s licenses, inspector’s licenses,and inspection company licenses. Requires that all injuries caused by a malfunctioning conveyance be reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal within two business days.

Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Changes (SB 1571/PA 99-0031): provides that nothing in the Act may be construed to require an employer or a property and casualty insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis.

Towing Commercial Vehicles (SB 1441/PA 99-0438): Prohibits tow truck drivers from removing commercial vehicles under their own power unless authorized to do so by a law enforcement officer. Requires all law enforcement departments that patrol highways (excluding Chicago) to create a tow list to regulate towing in their jurisdictions.

Body Cameras (SB 1304/PA 99-0352): Establishes rules and regulations for the use of officer-worn body cameras and implements a package of police reforms.

Police reforms include: Prohibits police from using chokeholds, except when deadly force is justified; requires an independent review of officer-involved deaths, and makes investigation reports part of the public record if an officer involved in a death is not charged with a crime; expands police officer training to include topics like use of force; creates a database of officers who have been fired or resigned due to misconduct.

Body camera regulations: The bill does not require police departments to use body cameras. If they choose to do so, officers must keep their cameras on when conducting law enforcement activities. Officers would be allowed to turn the camera off when talking to a confidential informant, or at the request of a victim or witness. The bill requires officers to let people know they are recording if they enter a home. Videos will be kept for 90 days, unless flagged for specific reasons. The bill allows for grants via a $5 fee increase for each $40 on criminal and traffic offenses, to go toward cameras and new training.

Several updates were made for those found to be guilty of driving under the influence.

DUI-related Safety Provisions (SB 627/PA 99-0467): Makes several recommendations based on the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee. Changes include the following:

  • Requires certain individuals suspected of consuming alcohol to sign the written warning from law enforcement.
  • Removes “hard time” provisions which currently prohibit driving relief for DUI offenders, and instead allow offenders to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or Restricted Driving Permit, with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).
  • Requires any offender with two+ DUI or reckless homicide convictions to install a BAIID as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.
  • Requires a BAIID, as a condition of a RDP, if the offender is convicted of DUI involving death, great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.

DUI Driving Permit (HB 1446/PA 99-0290): Allows drivers who had their license permanently revoked after a fourth DUI conviction to obtain a restricted driving permit after five years if the person shows a minimum three years of uninterrupted sobriety and successful completion all of the recommended rehabilitation activity.

DUI Interlock Device Extension (HB 3533/PA 99-0296–Sen. Pam Althoff): Requires ignition interlock devices for a minimum of five years on all vehicles owned by a person who has been convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense.

Trucking Violations (HB 1516/PA 99-0291): Provides that any driver who willfully violates specified motor carrier safety regulations including driving under the influence; motor carrier drivers’ hours of service; motor carrier qualifications for drivers; or other violations which would place the driver or vehicle out of service is guilty of a Class 3 felony when the violation results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death to another person.

Other new laws of interest:

Insurance Public Adjuster License (SB 810/PA 99-0266): Changes the wait time a prospective public adjuster licensee has until he/she re-take a failed licensure examination from 90 days to 7 days.

Electronic Insurance Storage (SB 1680/PA 99-0167): Allows for documents that are required by statute in an insurance transaction or that serve as evidence of insurance coverage, to be stored, presented, and delivered by electronic means.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act Sunset (SB 1620/PA 99-0251): Extends the sunset date of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act through January 1, 2020.

Recyclable Stolen Metals Task Force (HB 330/PA 99-0052): Creates the Recyclable Metal Theft Task Force within the Office of the Secretary of State to look at ways to combat recyclable metal theft throughout the state, assist in developing regional task forces to combat recyclable metal theft, and consider and develop long-term solutions.

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