Central Ill. (WCIA) — “It involves a lot of people and that’s really the point to increase our roadway safety,” Illinois State Police’s Sergeant Christopher Watson said.
A group is looking at new ways to keep you safe on the roads, as well as people who put themselves in harm’s way every day. A task force was created to enforce the Move Over Law, also known as Scott’s Law. Their new proposals are especially important during this winter weather.
The Move Over Task Force recently delivered a report showing all of the crashes and violations of Scott’s Law. They are proposing new ways to protect people, including law enforcement and emergency responders.
“It’s always a scary thing especially if you’re on the interstate where people are going 75-80 miles an hour, you just got to be safe,” Driver Carl Hanson said.
The Move Over Law, or Scott’s Law, was formed to keep drivers safe. It requires people to change lanes when approaching stationary vehicles. This includes highway maintenance vehicles and vehicles that are stopped with flashing lights.
“For us it really strikes home because this isn’t just a law that helps the Illinois State Police. It’s not just a law that helps first responders. It’s everybody on the roadway,” Sergeant Watson said.
Recently, a “Move Over” Task Force delivered a report detailing ways to protect emergency responders and other people on the road. Some improvements include not only just moving over, but also for people to slow down and proceed with caution. As well as implementing new technology to reduce the amount of time troopers spend on the side of the road.
“Yes, we are going to move forward with all of the recommendations, but at the end of the day, it still boils down to a choice being made by a motorist,” Sergeant Watson said.
Not only is it not safe if drivers fail to follow the rules, but they can also get fined or even have their drivers license suspended.
“An accident or another accident caused by that, so if people could move over and slow down it really helps out a lot,” Hanson said.
The revisions stem from data that showed 46 Scott’s Law crashes between 2019 and now. Five involved state troopers. When it comes down to it, the law is there to protect lives.
“If we are there, we’re there to help someone, probably your family or friends and I’m there with my friends trying to help and I have a family I want to make it home to as well,” Paramedic for OSF Pro Ambulance Andria Baszis said.
State police also announced that new squad cars will have push bumpers to help remove traffic by obstructing the road.
So far crashes related to Scott’s Law have not decreased. Illinois State Police say in 2019, 27 move over violation crashes occurred. In 2020, 15 crashes, with 4 involving injuries to troopers. Recently, in 2021, four crashes have happened and one trooper was hurt.