SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — In Illinois, it is illegal to hang anything from your rearview mirror in your car.
It doesn’t matter if it is a decoration or an air freshener — state law says you could get pulled over and fined for having anything hanging from your mirror. The logic behind the law is it can obstruct your view while driving.
A bill supported by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias passed out of the Senate Thursday that would change the law so police can’t pull someone over solely for having something hang on a rearview mirror.
“There is absolutely no data to support that pulling people over for an air freshener or a rosary hanging from their rearview mirror reduces violent crime or prevents accidents,” Secretary Giannoulias said. “Amending the current law will not jeopardize public safety; instead, it will result in greater equity on the road and improve relationships between police and community by eliminating pretextual traffic stops that disproportionately affect people of color.”
The bill passed out of the Senate 41-11.
“We need to do everything we can to reduce the need for police interactions with people for non-violent and non-threatening violations,” Rep. LaShawn Ford, the bill’s House Sponsor (D-Chicago) said. “There is no reason for police to pull over a vehicle just because they have an air freshener on their mirror or for many other minor infractions.”
The 11 no-votes were all Republicans.
“This bill allows for a driver to drive anywhere, with a fully obstructed view,” Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) said. “They can’t see out the front windshield. And law enforcement — to save the life of someone who’s walking in a crosswalk — cannot stop them so that they don’t kill someone.”
The bill now heads to the Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk.