SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In the wake of two state trooper deaths, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is backing a bill that would protect law enforcement professionals by combatting careless driving near stopped emergency vehicles.
“Troopers Brooke Jones-Story and Christopher Lambert lost their lives because drivers were not paying attention. Their loved ones deserve our immediate action to prevent similar tragedies,” Hernandez said. “Keeping our emergency workers safe needs to be a priority; they perform critical work and often put their lives on the line for our safety.”
Hernandez voted to pass Senate Bill 1862 which makes changes to a current traffic law known as Scott’s Law, increasing the penalty for injuring or killing an emergency worker during a traffic stop up to a maximum of seven years in prison. The bill also increases minimum fines on traffic violations which do not result in casualties from $100 to $500, and this money will go to a fund dedicated to educating the public about the law.
Hernandez is also passed Senate Bill 2038, which requires questions on Scott’s Law be added to the written driver’s license exam and creates the “Move Over Task Force” to study more solutions to the problem.
“We can prevent avoidable hazards like reckless driving from impacting emergency workers,” Hernandez said. “Drivers need to be taught that they pose a major threat to roadside stops if they aren’t careful. These bills will work together to lessen the danger to emergency workers. We are not only raising penalties on careless drivers, we are making sure new drivers are aware of the problem.”