SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – New seat belt legislation is making its way through the Illinois General Assembly.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports, the bill, HB 219, requires every passenger in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bob Conway reports
Under current state law, only drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers under the age of 19 are required to wear seat belts.
A handful of exceptions to the seat belt rule are specified in the bill, including drivers or passengers in an authorized emergency vehicle, children in school buses and back-seat passengers in taxicabs.
The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Mark Beaubien Jr. (R-Barrington Hills) and Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake.)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicate that about 1,000 beltless back-seat passengers died in accidents in 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But critics of the bill say there is no conclusive evidence that requiring back-seat seat-belt compliance by law will save any lives, the newspaper reported.
The bill now goes to the Illinois State Senate. If approved and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois will join 11 other states with similar laws.