04222021HAO0851rSPRINGFIELD – In cases such as Daunte Wright, Sandra Bland, and many others, traffic stops have escalated into police violence against Black Americans. That all too common circumstance led State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to pass a measure to ensure all new drivers are provided with guidance on how to interact with law enforcement during traffic stops.

“Unfortunately for Black people, traffic stops are something we know can take a rogue turn, and even end in the loss of life,” Hunter said. “Though ultimately, respectability may not always save someone from a police officers’ harmful biases, it can be helpful for drivers to be informed of their rights and what the typical protocol is supposed to be during a traffic stop.”

House Bill 3097 requires police procedures and appropriate interactions with law enforcement during traffic stops to be added to Illinois adult driver education course curriculum, as well as the State Board of Education's curriculum.

This measure also provides that these instructions must be included in the Illinois Rules of the Road publication from the Secretary of State. A similar law was passed in North Carolina.

Currently, the curriculum for adult driver education courses administered in Illinois serves as a six-hour course that instructs people on traffic laws, impaired driving, risky driving, using cell phones while driving, and alcohol and drug awareness. The Illinois Rules of the Road publication is a synopsis of Illinois motor vehicle laws. This publication is provided free of charge with a person’s vehicle registration and original driver’s license.

“When getting pulled over, it is easy to panic, especially if you don’t know the proper protocol,” Hunter said. “The more you know about the law, the more it could help you in a potentially stressful situation.”

House Bill 3097 has now passed both chambers.