State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) is seeking to champion The Accident and Crisis Victims Privacy Protection Act (HB 1136), which would prevent sensitive information related to a crime, crash, or accident scene from being disseminated prematurely or inappropriately.
The proposal, if passed, would prohibit first responders and representatives of governmental agencies from disseminating and publishing photographs of crime, crash, or accident scenes, or the names of victims, until after the immediate family of all victims have been notified of the incident. Exemptions to this rule would be made for information that excludes images and names of victims in order to alert the public to avoid a given area impacted by the event. A violation of this act would be considered a Class A misdemeanor.
“Victims of crime, accidents, and other crises deserve privacy and respect,” Representative Caulkins said. “Violating the privacy of the victims involved in these types of incidents causes them and their loved ones undue trauma.”
Caulkins explained: “This proposal is about affording victims and their families the same considerations we would want if it were us involved in a tragedy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this necessary change.”
The Accident and Crisis Victims Privacy Protection Act is currently in the Rules Committee awaiting review by the Illinois House of Representatives.
For more information about The Accident and Crisis Victims Privacy Protection Act, please contact Rep. Caulkins’ office at 217-876-1968.