Pending Illinois Bill Could Change This Little Known Law
Sometimes, we break laws that we don't even know about, and when we don't know about them, it's because it's a law that isn't consistent from state to state.
So, What's Illegal?
Currently, there is a law in Illinois that you cannot hang any items from your rearview mirror while your vehicle is in motion because it is considered to be an obstruction to your field of view.
This law includes anything from fuzzy dice to air fresheners, parking passes, rosaries, or disability tags.
Current laws allow for this to be the reason officers make a traffic stop on a vehicle that may otherwise be following all traffic laws - not speeding, not swerving, all lights functioning, license plate and registration up to date.
A proposed bill that has passed the Illinois House of Representatives on March 24th is headed to the state Senate floor for voting in the near future.
House Bill 2389, sponsored by Representatives La Shawn Ford, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Joyce Mason and Natalie A. Manley would remove the ability for a police officer to stop a motorist for an item hanging from their rearview mirror.
State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago), a sponsor of the bill, cited the possibility of an absolutely unnecessary stop leading to unneeded escalated situations between officers and motorists.
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias had his own thoughts on the bill as well.
"Pulling someone over for merely having an air freshener attached to the rearview mirror is not only archaic, it's ridiculous," Giannoulias said. "Amending the law by prohibiting traffic stops that encourage discriminatory practices will ultimately make our streets safer for both motorists and police officers."
A third reading and a vote are expected to take place soon, which, if voted through, would change the law to not allow the infraction to be something motorists can be stopped for.
Read more about the bill at Illinois General Assembly