On January 1, 2012, a new Illinois law goes into effect that will require backseat passengers to buckle up. Previously, Illinois law required only drivers, front seat passengers and certain passengers younger than 19 years old to wear seat belts. The new law states that every driver and passenger of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway must wear a properly adjusted safety belt, with few exceptions.
The law, HB 219, exempts passengers of emergency vehicles and taxi cabs. The law does not apply to motorcycles, motor vehicles that are not required to be equipped with safety belts by federal law, or motor vehicles with a model year prior to 1965. The full text of the law is available on the Illinois General Assembly’s website.