HOUSE RECAP: Bills regulating drivers’ headlight modifications and digital activities OK'd

HOUSE RECAP: Bills regulating drivers’ headlight modifications and digital activities OK'd

Several bills sent to governor, Senate for further consideration


Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Among a flurry of legislation that the Illinois House sent to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday was a bill limiting what drivers can put on their headlights.

Rockford Democratic Rep. Maurice West is the House sponsor of Senate Bill 87, which prohibits drivers from using smoked or tinted lens or covers on their cars.

Those are two types of headlight modifications that can greatly reduce the visibility of a car in poor lighting. An opponent of the measure said they are not uncommon for car enthusiasts.

“There are certain enthusiasts that like to modify their cars…I would rather police spend their time working on real problems, real crimes, and not something that’d be targeting individuals,” said GOP Rep. Allen Skillicorn, of Crystal Lake, in Tuesday’s debate on the House floor.

West said the Illinois State Police must still work out the details of how officers will target and enforce the law, which does not apply to motorcycles that have blue lights. The bill passed out of the House on a 107-7 vote.

West also advanced a bill prohibiting drivers from streaming video on an electronic device while driving. That measure, Senate Bill 86, must go back to the Senate for concurrence, as it altered the bill previously passed in that chamber.

Currently, drivers cannot operate a vehicle while using an electronic device like a cell phone, “hand-held personal digital assistant,” or laptop. But the amendment adds specific language that says such devices cannot be used “to watch or stream video” while someone is driving.

The proposed law keeps exclusions for GPS or navigation devices that are physically mounted to the car or within the car’s computer system. West said that language ensures drivers in ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft can still use their devices “so long as [the devices] are mounted to the car,” West said.

Other bills approved by the House Tuesday:

Senate Bill 24 makes rail carriers maintain a crew of at least two individuals on all trains and light engines moving through Illinois. The bill received criticism from Republicans saying that it is an unnecessary intrusion of state government into the terms of freight deals already negotiated by unions and rail carriers. Democrats countered by emphasizing the safety aspect. Approved by a 78-35 vote, heads to governor.

Senate Bill 156 makes the Department of Corrections create job search and career building websites to be accessed by inmates approaching release from correctional facilities. Approved by a 116-0 vote, heads to governor.

Senate Bill 241 prohibits manufacturers to profit from or sell any cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal testing. Only applies to such materials produced in such manner after Jan. 1, 2020, the effective date of the law. Approved by an 85-25 vote, heads to governor.

Senate Bill 1226 abolishes the State Charter School Commission and places many of the Commission’s responsibilities with the State Board of Education. New charter schools would also have to go to the courts for a judicial review process. Approved by an 84-29 vote, heads to Senate for concurrence.  

Senate Bill 1256 prohibits diesel-powered vehicles that weigh more than 8,000 pounds from idling more than 10 minutes in a 60-minute period if the vehicle is within 200 feet of a residential area. Approved by a 96-19 vote, heads to governor.



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