A new seat belt law takes effect with the start of the New Year. The law will require all passengers in the back seat to wear seat belts. In 2010, 38 un-belted back seat passengers died in crashes in Illinois (SOURCE: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Marva Boyd, chief of staff for IDOT, says being unbelted in the back is a danger not only to that passenger, but to others in the car.
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“There have been incidents where passengers have been projected from vehicles, have been bounced around, and unfortunately sometimes when that happens, they can create other injuries or fatalities,” she said. The original 1985 seat belt law requires seat belts for the driver and all front-seat passengers and back-seat passengers age 19 and younger, but until now adults were exempt. Illinois will be the 26thstate to require all passengers to wear seat belts. The law will not apply to passengers in the back seat of a taxi or an ambulance. The measure passed the Illinois House 61-55 and the Senate 30-23 in May. The governor signed the bill into law in June. Fines for violators start at $25.