Extra patrols are being conducted statewide this week to specifically enforce Scott’s Law— also known as Move Over Law — in honor of fallen Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert, officials said.
Trooper Lambert, 34, of Highland Park, was killed in the line of duty on January 12, 2019 when he was on scene of a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 294 near Willow Road. While handling the crash, another vehicle failed to stop and struck Trooper Lambert while he was outside of his patrol car.
“The initiative is designed to further educate the public of the Move Over (Scott’s) Law and is held in honor of his memory, a legacy of courage, honor and duty,” Illinois State Police said.
The statewide detail will began on Sunday, Jan. 12, and will run throughout the week ending on Saturday, Jan. 18. Officials said that enforcement details will focus on making Illinois roads safer through raising awareness of the Move Over Law.
In 2019, 27 Illinois State Police squad cars, which were stationary, had been struck by vehicles who violated the Move Over Law, higher than the past three years combined. Two of those crashes resulted deaths of Trooper Christopher Lambert and Trooper Brooke Jones-Story.
“In one of his final acts, Trooper Christopher Lambert placed himself and his squad car between the public and danger. This act of courage is a testament to his noble character and embodies the true mission of ISP, to serve with integrity and pride,” state police Director Brendan Kelly said.
“We will continue to honor Trooper Lambert’s legacy, and we ask the public to join our efforts. Slow down and, if possible, move over if you see a police or other emergency vehicles stopped along the roadway,” Kelly said.
“Like Chris, our Troopers put themselves on the line every day not knowing if they will return home,” said state police District 15 Commander Dominic Chiappini.
“He made the ultimate sacrifice that day. He courageously laid down his life to shield another. It is our honor and duty to continue to talk about his fearless actions and raise awareness in his name,” Chiappini said.
Violators of Illinois’ Move Over Law will now be fined no less than $250 for a first offense and no less than $750 for a subsequent offense, according to a change in state law.
If the violation involves property damage, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period anywhere between 3 to 12 months. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between 6 months and two years.
The Move Over Law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights and any stationary vehicle with their hazard lights activated. If changing lanes would be unsafe, drivers are required to proceed with caution, reduce speed and leave a safe distance until safely passing the vehicle.
“Trooper Christopher Lambert began his ISP career in 2013 and graduated with Cadet Class 123. He served honorably in the United States Army for eight years. He is survived by his wife, children and parents,” Illinois State Police said.