Illinois lawmakers have a lot on their hands when it comes to crafting new legislation, or do they? 253 new laws go on the books at the start of the new year. Here are six quirky laws that will take effect on January 1st, 2019 that you may not have heard about

1. NO Jury Duty for nursing mothers. The new law excuses prospective jurors; nursing mothers. It will allow any mother who is nursing her child shall, upon request, be excused from jury service. (HB5745)

2. No more chairmen or committeemen. HB1010, makes offices gender neutral when it comes to public offices in the Illinois legislature.  For example, instead of committeeman or chairman the individual holding the position shall be referred to as "committeeperson or chairperson"

3. Heat sensors for police dogs. HB1761 creates a new law that requires  that vehicles that are used to transport a police dog must be equipped with a heat sensor for monitoring the internal temperature of the vehicle in which the police dog is being transported. if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees, law enforcement officer responsible for the police dog will receive a notification.

4.  Parking Fine Penalty reduction act: HB3920 lowers the penalty for driving with a drivers license that was suspended for unpaid parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support. It changes the classification to a "petty offense"

5. Pink is the new safety color for Illinois hunters. Bright orange is still good, HB4231 establishes that deer hunters and upland game bird hunters will not be allowed to wear "blaze pink colored clothing," in addition to blaze orange colored clothing.

6.Dutch Reach Law: We told you about this law past summer. Students in drivers ed will now be taught the proper way to open thir car doors. Yes, this is really a new law!

The Dutch reach rule will affect motorists in the process of parking and exiting their vehicles. It involves how you open your door when exiting your vehicle. Most drivers in the past have typically used their left hand to open driver's door, this new rule states that drivers should use their right hand to open the door. The thought behind this is that by using your right hand, your body and your eyes will be facing more to the right. By doing so, you will be more likely to spot oncoming traffic (bicyclists, other vehicles) that could collide with an open car door.

james steidl