Surge of crashes involving ISP Troopers has Gov. Pritzker and Illinois State Police concerned
information provided by the Office of the Governor
CHICAGO, Ill. (March 25, 2019) – With a recent surge in crashes involving ISP troopers, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are urging motorists to respect the Move Over Law and use caution when approaching emergency vehicles on interstates and roads.
So far in 2019, 14 ISP troopers have been struck by vehicles when they were pulled over to respond to highway incidents with their emergency lights activated. The tragic death of Trooper Christopher Lambert is among the 14 incidents, which far exceeds last year’s total of 8 troopers.
“Our state troopers are putting their lives on the line every single day,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “They are our heroes and first responders, keeping people safe. No driver needs to get to their destination so quickly that they need to put a trooper’s life at risk. No one’s time or convenience is worth more than the lives of our state’s heroes.”
Also known as “Scott’s Law,” the Move Over Law was enacted in 2002 in memory of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. Lt. Gillen was struck and killed on December 23, 2000, by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene.
“Scott’s Law not only applies to emergency vehicles, but also includes the general public who are having car troubles and are stuck roadside until help arrives,” said ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly. “Our hope in bringing this to the public’s attention through our struggle, is that it increases the safety of all roadway users in their time of need.”
The Move Over Law requires motorists to approach with caution and yield to emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles displaying oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights. Drivers must change lanes if they can do so safely, or reduce speed and proceed with caution if unable to change lanes.
Violators of the Move Over Law are mandated to appear in court. Additionally, they can be fined not less than $100 or more than $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years if the violation involves injury to another.