SPRINGFRIELD, Ill. (KMOX/AP) - Fourteen Illinois State Police officers have been struck in roadside crashes this year. That's an average of more than one a week and nearly double the total for all of last year.Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Police on Monday urged motorists to observe the "Move Over Law" when approaching vehicles on the side of the road. And they're beefing up enforcement of the law.
Acting State Police Director Brendan Kelly, St. Clair County's former state's attorney, says they're running special Scott's Law details and he's authorized an additional 2,000 hours of manpower to make that happen.The law requires motorists approaching emergency vehicles along the roadside to slow down and change lanes to provide more space. It's also known as Scott's Law in memory of Chicago Fire Lt. Scott Gillen. Gillen was assisting at a crash scene in 2000 when he was struck and killed.
"It's one way of educating the public," Kelly says. "It's a rather blunt way, but once people start getting tickets and having to pay the fines that you have to pay and face the consequences ... It's a misdemeanor offense, but it still can impact your driving record."
Kelly says if you're driving in Illinois and see a police vehicle with its lights on, don't assume that squad car is alone. He says it could be part of a Scott's Law detail and there would be another police vehicle watching or video recording to look for who isn't moving over and violating the law.
The 14 incidents involving state troopers include the January death of 34-year-old Christopher Lambert.Eight troopers were struck in all of 2018.
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