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New laws go into effect on New Year’s Day

December 31, 2018

Out with the old year means more than turning the calendar to 2019. There will be 253 new laws going into effect in Illinois at the stroke of midnight tonight. Here is a look at a few of the more notable new laws.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

It requires children younger than 2 to be secured in a rear-facing child-restraint system. Children weighing more than 40 pounds or taller than 40 inches are exempted.

A first violation results in a $75 fine. A second offense fine is $200.

This was first recommended in April 2011 in a policy published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” said Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report.

“For larger children, a forward-facing seat with a harness is safer than a booster, and a belt-positioning booster seat provides better protection than a seat belt alone until the seat belt fits correctly.”

A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention showed children younger than age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing.

Children younger than 8 must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system that fits the child; fits the vehicle; and is used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Wearing blaze pink for hunting

Illinois joins Wisconsin, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Virginia and Minnesota in allowing hunters to wear blaze pink during firearm deer season and upland game season.

Hunters still can wear blaze orange, which has been credited for a reduction in hunting-related injuries and deaths.

“If you were to purchase a blaze pink hunting vest or hunting jacket or hunting parka, it has to be a solid 400 inches. It can’t be a combination of camo and pink,” Ed Cross with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources told Illinois News Network back in August when Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill.

The initiative is supported by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

One reason the bill’s sponsor chose pink was research showing it stands out from trees that turn orange in the fall.

“Sometimes they can be a bright orange, so this is another way to provide a safe opportunity for hunters, and blaze pink will help them stand out and will keep hunters safe,” Cross said.

When Wisconsin legislators approved a similar bill in 2015, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Nick Milroy asked for assistance from Professor Majid Sarmadi, a renowned color scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology.

According to an online story posted in June 2015 by Milwaukee TV station WTHI, Sarmadi’s experiments revealed that to the human eye, blaze pink is just as visible as, or even more visible than, blaze orange. Sarmadi also concluded blaze pink actually is more difficult for deer to see than blaze orange, meaning blaze pink could give hunters an advantage in terms of camouflage.

Milroy said more women are joining the ranks of hunting.

The 2015 Hunting and Target Shooting Participation report, issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in conjunction with the National Sporting Goods, showed from 2006 to 2014, the total number of shooters in the U.S. has grown by 13 percent, to more than 31 million. Female participation during that time had grown by 52 percent, with more than 8 million women, or 25 percent, now comprising the shooting population.

From 2001 to 2014, female participation in hunting has grown from 10.2 percent to 18.4 percent. This means about 3.3 million hunters in 2014 were female. That number represents a 83.4 percent growth in female participation.

Stalking

Provides that stalking behavior includes sending unwanted messages via social media. Expands who can bring a petition to include an authorized agent of a workplace; an authorized agent of a place of worship; and an authorized agent of a school.

Animal Protection

Provides that nothing prevents a law enforcement officer from taking temporary custody of an animal that is being put in danger because of extreme heat or cold conditions; however, the officer must attempt to make contact with the owner. Also, the owner is responsible of cost required for veterinary care.

Reckless Dog Owner Penalties

Sets penalties for those found to be reckless dog owners and allows courts to confiscate dogs from those owners for periods ranging from 12 to 36 months for the first violation. Sets fines for each animal found in their care they refuse to relinquish.

Booking Photograph Limitation

Limits the publishing of booking photographs, “mugshots,” on social media with respect to civil offenses and offenses less than a Class A misdemeanor, unless the photo has been posted in order to assist in the search of a missing person or fugitive, person of interest or in relation to a more serious crime. Also provides for the correction of errors by entities that publish criminal record information for profit.

Route 66 Centennial Commission

Creates a 20-member Route 66 Centennial Commission to plan and coordinate commemorative events throughout the state to celebrate 100 years of Route 66.

Golden Parachutes

Sets severance pay conditions for government employees to attempt to prevent “golden parachutes.” States that severance pay provided can not exceed more than 20 weeks so compensation and severance pay must be prohibited when the employee in question has been fired for misconduct. Introduced in response to recent situations where severance packages have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Human Trafficking

The crime of human trafficking is added to the section of the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act that allows for a longer reporting time frame for more vulnerable victims of crime, like it currently does for survivors of sexual assault. Clarifies that trafficking victims are eligible for compensation if they are engaged in a legal proceeding involving a claim that the victim is a victim of human trafficking.

Allows human trafficking survivors to bring a civil cause of action against traffickers under existing law. Allows family members, victim advocates, a court appointee or a government entity responsible for enforcing the laws of this state to bring an action on behalf of a victim.

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