SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to recent tragic deaths of state troopers conducting traffic stops, state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that creates stricter penalties for drivers who fail to move over or slow down when passing a police vehicle on the side of the road.
“Our law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line every day,” D’Amico said. “The tragedies that have occurred over the last few months are preventable and we must do more to ensure the safety of our first responders.”
D’Amico is backing Senate Bill 1862, which increases penalties on drivers who violate Illinois’ “Move Over” Law, also known as Scott’s Law after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Under Scott’s Law, drivers must reduce their speed and change lanes if possible when approaching a police or emergency vehicle stopped along the side of the road.
Under D’Amico’s legislation, the penalty a Scott’s Law violation without injury or vehicle damage would increase from $100 to $500; the penalty for a reckless homicide resulting from a violation of Scott’s Law would increase the maximum penalty from a five-year prison sentence to a seven-year sentence.
The new legislation comes in response to the 2019 deaths of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story and Trooper Christopher Lambert of the Illinois State Police, both of whom were fatally hit by passing vehicles while on duty.
“My deepest condolences go out to the families of state troopers that we have lost this year,” D’Amico said. “This legislation will help prevent these tragedies in the future by making sure that motorists who are breaking the law and putting the lives of officers at risk need are held appropriately accountable.”