The push to protect police officers and others on the side of the road in Illinois is getting some sharper teeth.
Illinois lawmakers have talked for months about doing something to help protect State Troopers and others out on the road. The state’s Move Over law, also called Scott’s Law, requires drivers to reduce speed, change lanes if possible and proceed with caution when approaching a stopped emergency or other vehicle on the side of the road.
They now have a plan. Lawmakers and State Police commanders on Tuesday introduced a plan that would more than double the fine for breaking the state’s Move Over law.
State Sen. Tony Munoz said raising the first time fine to $250, and charging drivers with a felony if they hit even a car, sends a message.
“It’s a shame that we had to come and put some enhanced penalties in this,” Munoz said in Springfield. “But hopefully people will realize they can go to jail for this, and pay some hefty fines. But not only that. You can seriously hurt someone. Or even kill them.”
State Police Director Brendan Kelly said it all comes after three State Troopers died in roadside wrecks earlier this year.
“The pain and sadness is still fresh, but sadness is not enough. There have been many memorials, but memorials are not enough. There is righteous anger, but anger is not enough,” Kelly said. “We all have to act. Along with greater enforcement and education, this legislation represents action.”
The proposal has about two weeks to make it through the state legislature before the end of the session.