Extra patrols conducted statewide last week to specifically enforce Scott’s Law— also known as Move Over Law — resulted in 281 citations and 77 arrests, according to Illinois State Police.
“Operation Lambert” was a special week-long campaign in honor of fallen trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, of Highland Park. He was killed in the line of duty on January 12, 2019 while 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 began on Sunday, Jan. 12, and ended on Saturday, Jan. 18. Officials said that the enforcement detail focused on making Illinois roads safer through raising awareness of the Move Over Law.
During the special enforcement period, ISP troopers issued 281 Move Over Law citations, wrote 64 warnings and made 77 arrests through 503 Scott’s Law details statewide.
“The results of “Operation Lambert” reflect greatly on this department and the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep motorists safe,” state police Director Brendan Kelly said.
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 in the 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,” 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.
“We will continue to aggressively enforce the law and educate the public in order to make 2020 a better year,” Kelly said.