Illinois Introduces Police Interaction Course

A new law in Illinois aims to help drivers interact with police during a traffic stop.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the measure comes amid heightened tension between police and citizens in Chicago and across the country over how traffic stops can go terribly wrong.

A number of African-Americans have died following encounters with police during the common practice. The latest casualty is 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who died as he appeared to be surrendering to members of law enforcement on the side of a Tulsa, OK highway Friday.

The law mandates that all driver’s education classes include a section of what to do during a traffic stop and targets the state’s newest and youngest drivers. State Sen. Julie Morrison, (D-Deerfield), co-sponsor the bill. It was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner last month.

She cited “common sense” as the motive behind the form of legislation.

“Being pulled over by an officer is really stressful,” Morrison said. “I think it’s really important, especially in this time that we’re in, that kids and new drivers learn what is expected when they are stopped by an officer, how to respond correctly, to be respectful, and hopefully that will make the encounter as least problematic as possible. I’m hoping it protects both the officer and the driver from things escalating.”

Currently, 109,000 students are enrolled in a driver’s education program at a public high school in Illinois.