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More than 200 New Illinois Laws in 2012

Springfield, Ill. – One of the new Illinois laws going into effect in the New Year requires that adults wear seat belts while riding in the back seat of a vehicle.

Under the law, people 18 and younger also must wear a seat belt while riding in a taxi for school-related purposes.

Police will be permitted to pull over a car if they see someone violating the law. Passengers caught without a seatbelt will receive a $25 fine.

Supporters call the measure common-sense safety legislation, while opponents criticized it as government intrusion in people’s personal lives.

In Illinois, 38 backseat passengers not wearing seatbelts died in 2009, representing a steady decline in those fatalities since 2005.

More than 200 new laws take effect in Illinois starting Jan. 1. Under some of the new laws:

  • Synthetic marijuana, sold in convenience stores and gas stations under names such as “K2″ and “Head Trip,” will be outlawed. The law makes possession or sale of the products a felony with penalties ranging from 1 to 60 years.
  • People convicted of first-degree murder must be added to a new first-degree murder database, similar to the sex offender registry, when they’re released from prison or any other facility. The public database would include names, addresses, employment places, schools attended and photos for offenders for up to 10 years after release from prison.
  • Convicted sex offenders who are employed at or attend a college or university must register with campus public safety.
  • School boards can suspend or expel a student who makes an explicit threat on a website against another student or any school employees or personnel.
  • People with an order of protection issued against them must surrender their Firearm Owners Identification Card until the order is lifted. Anyone convicted of domestic battery is ineligible to obtain or keep an FOID card.
  • Motorcyclists stopped at a red light may proceed through the light if it fails to change to green after a reasonable length of time.
  • Animal-control facilities scanning a lost pet for a microchip also must look for other common forms of identification, including tattoos and ID tags.
  • Antique vehicle owners have unrestricted use of highways from April 1 through Oct. 31 if they obtain an expanded-use registration.

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