SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — An Illinois State Police task force has released a report suggesting changes to the “Move Over” law.
Also known as Scott’s Law, the law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles, including all highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights, and any stationary vehicle with their hazard lights activated.
“Our troopers and first responders put their lives on the line every single day in service to communities across Illinois. Ensuring these brave men and women are able to do their job safely and return home unharmed is a top priority for my administration which is why I created the Move Over Task Force in my first year in office,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
The Move Over Task Force recommendations include:
• Adding improvements to the existing Illinois’ Move Over Law. As written, the law requires vehicles to make a lane change (Move Over) from the stationary authorized emergency vehicle. If a lane change is not available, vehicles must reduce their speed. The Task Force believes for vehicles to “proceed with due caution,” they should always reduce speed. Therefore, laws should say “Move Over AND Slow Down, as opposed to Move Over OR Slow Down.
• Inclusion of distracted driving as an aggravating factor for violations of the Move Over Law.
• Continued support of federal legislation, such as the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act. The Task Force agrees “Move Over” laws should be a new national safety priority in addition to existing federal grant program to increase public awareness
• More flexibility within the Illinois Procurement Code to make public safety-informed decisions on what is best for first responders when it comes to the health and safety of the public. The Task Force recommends the General Assembly pass legislation to encourage swifter acquisition of necessary public safety technology and equipment in the Illinois Procurement Code.
• Encourage the Illinois Department of Transportation to amend crash reports to capture “Move Over” law crashes and the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts to amend traffic citations to included a box to denote “Move Over” law violations. This would allow the better, more precise collection of data across all law enforcement agencies.
• Encourage all organizations with traffic safety-oriented missions to continue their efforts educating the public on the Move Over lawas and to continue to research and develop new technology and evaluate what other law enforcement agencies are doing to mitigate the risk.
On January 1, 2020, the violations for Illinois’ Move Over (Scott’s) Law increased. Fines are now no less than $250 for a first offense and no less than $750 for a subsequent offense. If the violation involves property damage, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between 3 to 12 months. If the violation results in an injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between 6 months and two years.
In 2019, the Illinois State Police reported 72 squad car crashes, with 27 of those crashes related to Move Over violations. The ISP issued 6.570 citations and 3,627 warnings statewide for Move Over violations in 2019.