Students enrolled in driver’s education courses will be required to learn how to respond if they’re pulled over by police under a measure Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Friday.
The change is aimed at preventing teens from panicking or doing anything that may be interpreted as a red flag by police, which could lead to a standard traffic stop escalating into a more serious situation.
“I think it’s really timely, so that teenagers and young drivers don’t look at a police officer as a threat or a problem,” said sponsoring Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield. “It’s just a part of driving, and if they respond in a responsible, correct way, it should never escalate.”
The new curriculum will be put in place for the 2017-18 school year at private and public schools that offer driver’s education classes, or after June 30, 2017, for driver training schools providing instruction to teens younger than 18. It’ll be up to the secretary of state’s office to develop the specific guidelines.
The measure was one of dozens of bills Rauner acted on while on vacation with family in Montana.
Another bill approved by Rauner would allow police to carry epinephrine auto-injectors to help those having severe allergic reactions. The measure is named after Annie LeGere, a 13-year-old from Elmhurst who died after having a severe allergic reaction at a sleepover.
The girl’s mother, Shelly LeGere, made it her mission to equip first responders, saying the outcome for her daughter could have been different if the police officer who first came to the scene was allowed to carry the injectors.
Other new laws would create a special license plate that would raise funds to develop habitat areas for the monarch butterfly, which has had its numbers dwindle in recent years; and allow grocery stores to consolidate cartons of eggs. Previously, if one egg in a dozen was cracked, the whole carton had to be thrown out.