A new law in Illinois will require student drivers to learn how to deal with getting pulled over by police. The act was signed into law last Friday with the hope of teaching students how to calmly approach the situation and to not panic, which can lead to the situation escalating.
As anyone will tell you, getting behind the wheel of a car for a first time driver is a frightening experience. Merging onto a highway, parallel parking, the price of gas; it all can be a bit daunting. Getting pulled over for anything can make even the most experienced driver nervous, and too often these days, seemingly routine traffic stops can go very wrong. Illinois is trying to stay a step ahead of incidents like this with the new law, which likely carries the best of intentions but appears to place the onus on the driver. State Senator Julie Morrison, who sponsored the program, hopes it can educate the masses:
“My hope is that if we uniformly require that driver’s education include the protocol and what is expected when you interact with a police officer that things will not escalate.”
The new part of the driver’s ed curriculum will be integrated into the 2017-2018 school year with the exact guidelines up to the secretary of state’s office. The law will also allow officers to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, just in case a driver or any other person they come into contact with has a allergic reaction.
Implementing this into the driver’s ed curriculum may be a disappointing reflection of the ongoing tension between police and citizens, but a class like this couldn’t hurt. Let’s just hope there’s ongoing education on both sides of the law.