SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Our police will be better protected during routine traffic stops and when responding to roadside emergencies under a new law backed by state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, combatting reckless driving by increasing penalties for inattentive or wild drivers near pulled-over emergency vehicles.
Connor’s new law comes in response to an alarming increase in roadside accidents involving stopped police vehicles, including accidents that killed Illinois State Police officers Brooke Jones-Story and Christopher Lambert earlier this year.
“Troopers Jones-Story and Lambert lost their lives in the line of duty as a result of reckless driving,” Connor said. “Drivers who were not paying attention to the road are responsible for their deaths, and we have to prevent that from happening again. The only way for Illinois to have safe roads is by ensuring law enforcement professionals can do their jobs without fear of distracted drivers.”
Connor helped pass Senate Bill 1862, which strengthens Illinois’ “move over” law, known as Scott’s Law. The bill increases 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 raises minimum fines for 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. The bill received bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Connor is also backing 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.
“This legislation will not only crack down on reckless driving, it will educate new drivers to ensure they know the right rules of the road,” Connor said. “No family should have to go through what the families of Trooper Jones-Story and Trooper Lambert did, and this legislation will help ensure that is the case.”