LITCHFIELD — The Illinois House passed two measures, both co-sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) to address the uptick in fatalities and accidents this year involving state troopers, first responders, and emergency personnel on Illinois roadways.
“We have had far too many moments of silence on the House floor this year,” Rep. Bourne said. “State Troopers and other emergency crew workers have a difficult and dangerous job. Our goal is that through strengthening Scott’s Law, people will wake up to the importance of slowing down and getting over.”
In 2002 Illinois passed the “Slow Down or Move Over Law”, also known as “Scott’s Law”, in memory of Lt. Scott Gillen. The Illinois House this week took steps to address the uptick of violators with two separate pieces of legislation. The first, Senate Bill 1862, takes several steps to strengthen Scott’s Law by increasing fines and creating a fund to better educate drivers on the procedures when passing first responders, law enforcement, and other stopped vehicles on the side of the road. In addition, it requires the Secretary of State to include a written question on Scott’s Law in driver’s license test.
The second piece of legislation, Senate Bill 2038, creates a Move Over Task Force to study the issue of violations of Scott’s Law, and other similar stopped roadside vehicle laws, specifically focusing on educating the public and the causes of the violations as a way to protect law enforcement and emergency responders. The task force, which will submit its report by the end of the year, will specifically include a chief of police of a town with a population under 25,000 to ensure that the task force will capture input from local law enforcement on appropriate changes to Scott’s Law in rural areas.
“This legislation will reduce preventable accidents and make our roads safer for law enforcement and everyone else on the road,” Rep. Bourne continued. “With the creation of a taskforce, I’m also glad that we are going to continue studying this law to ensure the future safety of our law enforcement and first responders. I’ve had local Sheriff’s Deputies and first responders send ideas on making this law even better. I will continue working to make sure that taskforce takes these ideas into consideration for future changes. ”