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Pittsfield High School driver’s ed students learn importance of Scott’s Law

People are getting killed and hurt due to Scott’s Law violations.

Illinois State Troopers said two troopers have died and 17 cars have been hit just this year. That’s why they’re spreading awareness and targeting new drivers.

Law enforcement and high school students gathered at the Pike County courthouse Wednesday to raise awareness for Scott’s Law. It’s something officers said they deal with every day, which is why they wanted to share an important message with incoming drivers.

Illinois State troopers said they see drivers disobeying Scott’s Law every day.

Thomas Mavity with ISP witnessed it closer than he had liked.

“I’ve had my squad car, about 17 years ago, destroyed,” Mavity said.

Scott’s Law, or the move over law, requires drivers to slow down and move over one lane, if possible, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with flashing lights.

It’s a law meant to prevent crashes, like the one Mavity experienced.

“It was in Jacksonville on I-72 where I was protecting an IDOT crew and I had a couple that crashed into my squad car,” Mavity said. “Fortunately, I was out of the car and saw it coming.”

It’s a crash that drivers ed students at Pittsfield High School said can be avoided by obeying the law, which is why they spent this morning spreading an important message.

“Today we’re trying to show signs for people to know and get informed on Scott’s Law, which is the move over law, to protect police,” Drivers Ed Student Levi Kindle said.

Students made signs and passed out flyers to drivers and businesses in hopes of preventing more crashes from happening.

“It’s devastating honestly,” Drivers Ed Student Adilene Terpstra said. “They’re just trying to do what they’re paid to do and supposed to be doing and they’re getting killed for that.”

“They have lives too,” Kindle said. “They have a family and everything. They went to school for that. They’ve trained for everything.”

Trooper Mavity said he appreciates the students raising awareness.

“It’s a fantastic endeavor and it means so much to law enforcement that the next generation of people are supportive of us and the laws,” Mavity said.

Drivers ed officials said they do plan to do other activities like the one on Wednesday, to not only teach incoming drivers, but also to give current drivers a reminder of the laws of the road.

In Illinois, fines start at 100 dollars and can go up to 10,000 dollars for violating Scott’s Law.

Iowa fines start at 100 dollars. In Missouri, fines start at 250 dollars, but can go up to 10,000 dollars if you hit a worker.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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