CHICAGO (CBS)– Thirteen Illinois State Police troopers have been struck while responding to traffic incidents in 2019.
ISP took to Twitter to remind drivers to move over and slow down when they see emergency lights.
ISP reported that all 13 of these incidents occurred while troopers had their emergency lights activated.
On Monday, an ISP trooper’s squad car was struck during a traffic stop. The involved motorist was charged with DUI and was cited for a “Scott’s Law” violation, according to ISP. “Scott’s Law” requires drivers move over when a squad care activates emergency lights.
Drivers who ignore the “Scott’s Law,” also know as the “move over law” could face a $10,000 fine and possible jail time.
In January, Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, was killed in an accident on I-294 near Willow Road in Northbrook. Lambert was assisting with another traffic incident when he was fatally struck.
On March 4, 2019 there were 11 reported crashes involving Illinois State Police squad cars.
In 2018, there was a total of 8 ISP crashes, 12 crashes in all of 2017 and 5 crashes in 2016.
“It’s causing a concerning trend for us,” ISP Sergeant Christopher Watson said.
Kathleen Lane with the Itasca-based National Safety Council said these police-involved incidents run parallel to the 35 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities over the last 10 years.
“You see people are just on their phones and it’s causing them to slow down and it’s causing them to swerve,” Lane said.
Watson said education is key when increasing public awareness on the move over law.
“We’ve got to have some help, we need people to pay attention to the law and do the right thing and move over or slow down,” he said.