An Illinois State Police District 15 squad car was rear-ended during a traffic stop by another vehicle on Interstate 355 on August 12, 2022. | Provided Photo

Governor JB Pritzker proclaimed today as “Move Over Day” in Illinois designed to encourage motorists to move over for emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the roadway.

Pritzker issued a proclamation designating October 15 as Move Over Day.

The designation aligns with Illinois’ law designed to promote safe driving behavior and encourage motorists to move over for all vehicles, not just emergency vehicles, stopped on the side of the roadway, the Illinois State Police said.

“This ‘Slow Down, Move Over Day,’ I am thinking about emergency responders, like Chicago Firefighter Lieutenant Scott Gillen, who lost their lives while saving others,” Pritzker said.

“These deaths are as tragic as they are preventable. And this day—and every day—I remind the great people of Illinois to support our first responders and our fellow motorists by slowing down and moving over,” he said.

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In 2000, Illinois lawmakers passed Scott’s Law, named after Chicago Firefighter Lieutenant Scott Gillen, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while working on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

The law was created to protect law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel, highway workers and tow truck drivers working along roadways.

The Illinois State Police said they are committed to reducing traffic crash fatalities and limiting the risk of being hit while on the roadside.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the simple act of slowing down and moving over when there is a vehicle on the side of the road,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said.

“These crashes are 100% preventable. When a motorist takes the time to slow down and move over, they potentially save a life,” Kelly said.

Scott’s Law encourages citizens to not only slow down and move over when approaching emergency vehicles but to also do the same for stopped vehicles with flashing hazard lights.

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“We thank Governor Pritzker for this proclamation. It is important to have the public’s support to protect the first responders who come to the rescue of motorists, as well as drivers who are with their disabled vehicle,” AAA Auto Club Group Spokesperson Molly Hart said.

“Emergencies can occur at any time on any road, and by moving over and slowing down for every vehicle that is on the roadside we can help everyone make it home safe.”

Since 2019, there have been 82 state police squad cars struck, two state police troopers killed and 43 other troopers injured as a result of motorists who did not slow down and move over for emergency vehicles along the roadside.

State police say they have increased enforcement details to ticket and arrest drivers who fail to follow the law.

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