Driver’s Ed. in Illinois could add instruction on traffic stops

Illinois high school students will get schooled on how to interact with police during a traffic stop if the governor signs a measure on his desk. But will they learn their rights?

The measure requires driver’s education courses to include instruction about the proper actions to take during a traffic stop by police.

Ed Yohnka with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said it’s important to inform young people about stops, but it needs to be comprehensive.

“Not overreacting, not getting angry, not acting in some way that escalates a situation; but there also needs to be education about a person’s Fourth Amendment rights that you don’t have to answer questions, that you don’t have to give permission to search a car, that you don’t have to engage in a whole conversation about where you’ve been,” he said.

The measure doesn’t state what the course should include. Yohnka said providing specifics would make for consistency across the state.

Ed Wojcicki, executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, said the association is neutral on the measure. But said the requirement would be beneficial.

“It’s another unfunded mandate, and we don’t know what all the pressures are on the schools about adding this to the curriculum,” he said.

But Wojcicki said the requirement would be beneficial.

“Everyone recognizes I think that we need to do more things to improve relationships between police and communities,” he said.