- Kent Casson
State Police issue travel warning
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is asking the motoring public to stay off the roadways for the next couple of days during the severe winter weather.
If travel is absolutely necessary, allow enough time for travel and remain focused on the hazardous road conditions. Slow down AND move over for those vehicles stranded on the side of the road and for those emergency vehicles and personnel assisting them. Scott’s Law related crashes are 100% preventable.
Coincidentally, Scott’s Law Day is recognized on December 23rd of each year to honor public safety workers and to remind motorists to slow down AND move over when approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with its emergency or hazard lights activated.
Within the last five years, the ISP has seen increasing numbers in crashes involving Scott’s Law violations (see table below). So far this year, there have been 25 ISP squad cars struck in relation to Scott’s Law violations and a total of 10 Troopers have sustained injuries from those crashes. During one of the first major storms of 2022, on February 17, 2022, ISP officials investigated five separate traffic crashes involving ISP squad cars.
A total of five Troopers were struck during those crashes and four of the five crashes were Scott’s Law related crashes. A person who violates Scott’s Law, commits a business offense and faces a fine of no less than $250 or more than $10,000 for a first offense. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between six months and two years.
All 50 states have mandatory move over laws to protect first responders, roadway maintenance workers, roadside workers, and all motorists stopped on the side of the road. Additional information on all crashes involving ISP squad cars can be found at the following link: ISP Trooper Squad Car Crashes.
“With the hazardous winter weather approaching, it is extremely important everyone follow the rules of Scott’s Law, which require motorists to move over when approaching emergency and other vehicles stopped on the side of the road,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Our Troopers and roadway workers are risking their lives to make the roadways safe. Do your part, remain attentive, slow down, and move over, so that we all make it home safely, not only this weekend, but always.”