From AP - News Headlines -

Quinn Signs Seat-Belt Measure Into Law

Illinois drivers and passengers need to buckle up because Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed a new Illinois law requiring everyone riding in a vehicle to wear their seat belts.

"We want to save lives and this legislation is important to doing that," Quinn said at a bill-signing ceremony in Chicago.

The new law requiring everyone to wear their seatbelts goes into effect Jan. 1. Currently, people riding in the front seat of a vehicle have to wear their seat belts, but people in the back seat are only required to be belted in if they are under 18.

Officials said it was the latest measure to improve safety on Illinois roads. Others actions by the state have included a ban on texting while driving and increased training for student drivers.

Secretary of State Jesse White said making rear passengers wear seat belts will protect not only them but those people in the front seat as well.

"If by chance they are not buckled up they could become a human missile for those in the front of the vehicle," White said.

Buses, taxicabs and emergency vehicles are exempt from the new law.

Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat from Chicago, was one of the sponsors of the measure along with the late GOP Rep. Mark Beaubien, the seven-term state lawmaker who died earlier this month.

Beaubien, of Barrington Hills, collapsed while at a House GOP event with family, friends and colleagues. Beaubien's family attended the bill signing.

His widow, Dee Beaubien, said the measure was "extremely important" to him and all the people who helped get it passed.

"He considered them legacy," she said.