The first bill is a statewide ban on cell phones while driving in active school zones. The law is officially meant to protect children from distracted drivers, but if the 700 $25 tickets written in Highland Park during the past two years are any indication, there's a financial gain to be had as well.
Second, seat belts would be required for all backseat drivers under a new law "speeding through the Legislature." Currently, only front seat and rear passengers under 14 are required to wear safety belts. Opponents complain that we are getting closer to a "nanny state" with laws like these and people should buckle up without having to be told by the government. It's a reasonable argument, but too many people, including many of my clients, do not wear safety belts and are severely injured as a result. I don't like getting tickets any more than the next guy, but I also don't want to see people getting hurt when a seat belt would have protected them.
Finally, the booster seat lobby is apparently stronger than anyone thought possible. A proposed law would require all children under the age of 7 and height less than 4'9" to ride in a booster seat. This one seems to be going a bit too far. I feel sorry for any 4'8" 6-year-olds who's friends seem see him getting put into a car seat. The upside though is that if the bill passes, the fine for not using a booster seat would drop from $200 to $25, the revenue from which is supposed to help pay for seats for families who can't afford them.
The original article is available here