Giannoulias Announces New Laws to Take Effect Jan. 1

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Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced several new laws initiated by his office that will take effect at the start of the new year. The initiatives were passed earlier this year by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law. They include:

Combating Distracted Driving
Giannoulias drafted this legislation to increase road safety by making it illegal to Zoom, watch or stream videos, or access social media sites while driving. In 2022, more than 24,000 drivers were issued citations for distracted driving in Illinois. Nationwide, distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people annually, or about eight each day, according to the National Safety Council. House Bill 2431 was sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly (15th District – Chicago) and state Sen. Javier Cervantes (1st District – Chicago).

Expanding Voter Registration for Teens
Under this measure, teens obtaining their driver’s license or ID card may preregister to vote at a Secretary of State DMV. Giannoulias’ office initiated a measure to expand voter participation by allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote, so that when they turn 18 and are officially eligible to vote, they are already registered to do so. Senate Bill 2123 was sponsored by state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-29th District) and state Rep. Katie Stuart (D-112th District).

Stopping Pretextual Traffic Stops
This legislative effort makes it illegal for police to stop motorists for items hanging from their rearview mirror, such as air fresheners. Amending the current Illinois law – that prohibits items hanging from a rearview mirror because they obstruct a motorist’s vision – decreases unnecessary encounters over minor infractions, which can lead to violent confrontations between police and motorists. House Bill 2389 was sponsored by state Rep. La Shawn Ford (8th District – Chicago) and state Sen. Christopher Belt (57th District – East St. Louis).

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