So, have you heard the buzz around Illinois State Representative Justin Slaughter's House Bill 4603? This little piece of legislation is making waves as it takes a swing at changing the rules for why the police can pull you over in the Land of Lincoln.

Credit: aijohn784
Credit: aijohn784

What's the deal with HB4603?

Alright, buckle up for this one. HB 4603 wants to shake up the motor vehicle code in Illinois, with a focus on giving the side-eye to what it deems as unnecessary traffic stops. Picture this: no more getting pulled over for minor stuff like missing license plates, outdated stickers, too much tint on your windows, or a funky exhaust. Sounds like a dream come true right?


Now, here's the sticky part – speeding violations. The bill throws shade at pulling folks over for going 25 to 35 miles per hour over the limit, which, in Illinois, doesn't usually land you a misdemeanor or felony. But, not everyone is on board with this. The bill synopsis states:

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that no law enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for: (i) failing to display registration plates or stickers; (ii) being operated with an expired registration sticker; (iii) violating general speed restrictions (unless that violation is a misdemeanor or felony offense); (iv) improper lane usage (unless that violation is a misdemeanor or felony offense); (v) failing to comply with certain requirements concerning vehicle lamps; (vi) excessive tint; (vii) defective mirrors; (viii) an obstructed windshield or defective windshield wipers; (ix) defective bumpers; (x) excessive exhaust; and (xi) failure of the vehicle operator to wear a safety belt. Provides that no evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of these provisions, including, but not limited to, evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. Preempts home rule powers.

Additionally, this can be found in the bill as well:

(625 ILCS 5/11-601.5)
Sec. 11-601.5. Driving 26 miles per hour or more in excess of applicable limit.
(a) A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 26 miles per hour or more but less than 35 miles per hour in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class B misdemeanor.
(b) A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 35 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 98-511, eff. 1-1-14.)

Nightly City Traffic
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What are Local Officials Saying about HB4603?

Cue the debate! Jim Kaitschuk, of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, is waving the caution flag. He's worried about safety, especially in neighborhoods where kids play. Imagine cruising at 50mph in a 30-zone, and the police are not allowed to pull you over. Kaitschuk is also concerned about how this might change how drunk drivers are apprehended. Apparently, the bill could also deter police when it comes to stopping vehicles for wobbly lane changes, a sign police use to target someone who's had a few too many.

Credit: Christopher Furlong
Credit: Christopher Furlong

Several citizens have also voiced their concerns both for and against the bill. Some are in favor saying arbitrary traffic stops waste everyone's time and money. With some saying the police should be protecting and interacting more with the community instead of handing out minor tickets. On the other side, some citizens see "handcuffed police" as the road to pure chaos – more crime, more violations, and more accidents.

Woman in car signing speeding ticket for policeman
Credit: moodboard

What's Next for HB 4603?

Since Representative Slaughter dropped this bomb of a bill on Monday, it hasn’t gathered a fan club. No co-sponsors have hopped on board, and Slaughter is having second thoughts. Apparently, the bill might have taken a detour he didn't quite intend. Will he tweak it, drop it, or bring it back with a vengeance? Maybe we should push the brakes on this one?.

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