Local police are once again urging drivers to move over and slow down for stopped vehicles on the side of the road following a number of crashes already this year.
It’s part of their effort to ramp up awareness and enforcement of the law.
Local law enforcement agencies and IDOT officials came together Tuesday morning in Pike County to discuss ways to keep everyone safe while stopped on the side of the road.
They said a big part of this is drivers not paying attention. Illinois State Troopers said drivers aren’t following Scott’s law like they should be.
That’s why law enforcement agencies came together this morning to raise awareness.
Scott’s Law, or the move over law, said drivers must slow down and switch lanes if possible, when approaching any police, construction or other emergency vehicles.
With 16 ISP vehicles hit already this year and two troopers that have died, ISP officials are stepping up their awareness and enforcement.
“In the next few weeks, we’re going to be doing more of the move over law details,” Capt. Jon Dively with the Illinois State Police said. “We’re going to be doing more of the distracted driving details and really pushing it hard out there.
But police aren’t the only ones getting hurt when people don’t follow the law.
“We did have a couple highway maintainers hit last year over in the Jacksonville area,” IDOT Operations Field Engineer Martin Wagner said. “Every year over in the Springfield area, the traffic attenuators get hit.”
That’s why the Pike County state’s attorney said he’s teaming up with law enforcement to crack down on these cases.
“I would say we’ve only prosecuted a handful of these cases,” Wagner said. “I expect that given the seriousness of the issue, and the public attention of it, we will start to see more tickets for this.”
Troopers said it’s time to educate drivers and stop the problem.
“Enough is enough,” Dively said.
Troopers said they’re also amping up enforcement ahead of planting season since a lot of farmers equipment will be using rural roads in the coming weeks.
The Pike County state’s attorney said not following Scott’s law is an offense that can cost $500 to $10,000.
He said his office will not agree to a fine less than $500, which plus court fees, comes out to about $950 total.
If you hit someone on the side of the road, the penalties are significantly higher.