SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In the wake of multiple fatal crashes involving stopped Illinois State Police vehicles, state Rep. Maurice West II, D-Rockford, is backing a recently introduced proposal to better educate drivers on how to approach a stopped emergency vehicle, as well as a plan to increase penalties for drivers who recklessly endanger emergency responders on the highway.
“It was incredibly disheartening to see tragic story after tragic story this year involving motorists who refused to drive cautiously and ended up taking the life of a trooper doing their job for the people of this state,” West said. “These are crashes that can and should be preventable, and it’s important that we take proactive steps to educate drivers on the issue.”
Under Scott’s Law, drivers are supposed to lower their speed, change lanes if possible and make an effort to proceed with caution past a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on. Following 16 crashes involving an Illinois State Police vehicle already this year, West is supporting Senate Bill 1862, which would increase fines and other penalties for violations of Scott’s Law and make the offense more comparable to speeding in a construction zone. Penalties are increased if an individual strikes and injures or kills an officer.
Additionally, West is backing Senate Bill 2038, which would require the Secretary of State to include a question regarding Scott’s Law on the written driver’s test, as well as create a task force aimed at studying the issue of approaching stopped emergency vehicles.
“Not only should drivers be on the lookout for stopped emergency vehicles, they should always be aware of any stopped vehicle on the side of the road,” West said. “It’s easy to get caught up in your own world within your car, but you have to remember there are real people at risk along the side of the road addressing issues with their own disabled vehicle. Slow down and show caution.”
Visit Rep. Maurice West’s website
237-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
200 S. Wyman
Rockford, IL 61101