|Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent, State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milton Sees reminded motorists today of the importance of Scott’s Law. The law is designed to protect emergency response personnel and highway workers from errant drivers who pose a risk to the lives of public servants. |
To demonstrate the risks to these public servants, the Illinois State Police has a squad car on display at the Illinois State Fair that was struck last December by a truck tractor semi-trailer. The squad was parked on the shoulder with its emergency lights activated assisting a tow truck driver in the removal of a disabled vehicle. Remarkably, the Trooper, who was inside the squad and wearing his seat belt, has returned to work.
“Every day, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel, and highway workers place their lives in jeopardy to protect the citizens of the state of Illinois. The most important thing we do is to ensure citizens return home safely to their families,” said ISP Director Trent. “Scott’s Law helps these workers safely perform their duties so that they, too, can return home to their families each day.” Since the legislation was enacted in 2002, the Illinois State Police has issued a total of 18, 977 violations to motorists for non-compliance with the statute. Scott’s Law was enacted in memory of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department who was struck and killed in 2000 by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway. “Firefighters and police officers realize the hazards of their jobs each day when they report to work, but some hazards can be avoided if drivers are cautious when passing an emergency scene along a roadway,” said State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman. “Scott’s Law is intended to help make the public more aware of these dangers and what they can do to keep our public servants safer.” Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law”, requires motorists to yield to moving emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles, displaying oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights. Additionally, Scott’s Law requires a driver to change lanes (if safe to do so) or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights.
Secretary Sees expressed concern for those workers when motorists travel through the construction zones or areas workers are doing maintenance and repair. “Construction workers do their best to stay cognizant of the traffic, but it only takes one errant motorist to cause a tragedy. In 2006, there were 29 work zone fatalities, including one worker. So far in 2007, there have been nine work zone fatalities, including one worker.”