Almost every state trooper in the state can tell you a story of when they were almost hit during a traffic stop.
“I’ve had ones where I basically had to crawl under the car to avoid getting hit,” Illinois State Trooper Sean Ramsey said.
Illinois’ Move Over Law has been in effect since 2002. But for the first time since then, the penalties have been raised. First time offenders will be fined $250 instead of $100. Repeat offenders will be fined $750.
“The penalties, hopefully are a deterrent,” Ramsey said. “But part of this legislation puts money in a fund for Scott’s Law educational materials, so hopefully we can educate the people on the importance of this law.”
Before signing the bill today, Governor Pritzker called on people to not endanger the lives of law enforcement by driving distracted.
“Since 2002, Scott’s Law has said that drivers approaching a vehicle with their hazard lights on must slow down and move over. This is not optional. This is how we keep our heroes and first responders as safe as possible in their line of work,” Pritzker said. “The people of Illinois get to live their lives, because law enforcement officials go to work each day, risking theirs.”
State police have spent this entire year educating the public on the importance of Scott’s Law. The push began after two troopers were killed as a result of Scott’s law violations only days apart. While not every driver gets over, first responders are seeing some changes on highways.
“Driving an ambulance, I still see people, I don’t know if they are not listening, they just go ahead a pull out,” Vicki Mileham, a local ambulance driver said. “So we always have to be aware of what they are doing. but highways and things, I have seen a lot more people pulling over.”
“It seems to be getting better,” Ramsey said. “But until everyone moves over its not going to be safe for any of us on the road.”
The changes go into effect immediately.