ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois State Police are urging people to move over in accordance with Scott’s Law after a squad car was hit during a traffic stop on I-80 Sunday night.
One state trooper tells us this year’s violations, in addition to local tragedy last year, highlight the importance of Scott’s Law.
“It kind of hits home, hits personally for us, but it’s for all first responders out there,” said Assistant Deputy Chief Mindy Carroll, of the ISP Public Information Office.
“It may not always be possible for people to move over, and we understand that. That’s why we say if you can move over safely, please do so. But at least slow down and proceed with due caution,” she said.
Scott’s Law violations resulted in the deaths of three Illinois State Police officers in 2019, including Trooper Brooke Jones Story. She was helping another vehicle on US-20 near Freeport in March of last year when a semi hit her squad car.
Craig Dittmar was behind the wheel. He pled guilty to two counts of Reckless Homicide in connection to the crash on Monday.
“Our job is to protect the public. We want the public to help us do that by following what we feel is a simple law,” Carroll explained.
ISP says in total, 25 squad cars were hit in 2019. So far this year, it’s down to 15. But Trooper Mindy Carroll thinks there’s still room for improvement.
“There are a lot of people out there who are obeying this law and paying attention. But obviously, if we’re still having crashes, we’re still having first responders that get hurt, then obviously not everybody is obeying the law,” Carroll added.
With winter weather right around the corner, Carroll says now is the time to be especially careful.
“We know there will be crashes, there will be more stalled motorists, so there will be more first responders out there trying to do their job. We don’t’ want another year like we had last year,” she said.
ISP lists the minimum fine for a Scott’s Law violation at $250 and if a crash is caused, drivers could lose their license.
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