New Laws Take Effect in New Year: Fasten Your Seat Belts

By Patty Wetli | Friday, December 30, 2011

Buckle up Illinois. Starting Jan. 1, back seat passengers are required to wear seat belts. Credit: Flickr/goodgerster

While the rest of us ring in the New Year with champagne, fireworks and Dick Clark, leave it to the Illinois State Legislature to celebrate with a slew of laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

A complete list is available online, but we’ve compiled a few highlights:

  • It’s now illegal for any passenger, sitting in any seat, to ride in a vehicle without a seat belt. Everybody buckle up. Fines start at $25.
  • Smoke detectors are required within 15 feet of every bedroom in your home.
  • Think you can outfox those red light cameras in a rental car? Think again. Rental companies are not liable for automated traffic violations committed in their vehicles.
  • As if there weren’t enough down sides to being unemployed, lists are now being compiled of the jobless for jury pool selection.
  • Hunters are now allowed to harvest roadkill. Think twice before digging into your macho friend’s mystery meatloaf.

In addition, a law that’s been on the books since 2008, largely affecting manufacturers, is now entering a new phase aimed at consumers. Starting in 2012, it will be illegal for individuals to dispose of unwanted electronics in their regular trash. No more tossing those old computers, monitors, faxes, scanners, etc. in the dumpster. They must be taken to a registered recycling facility, a list of which can be found online.

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