Dramatic rise in citations for drivers who violate 'move over' law, state police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There has been a dramatic rise in the number of citations issued to drivers for violating the "move over" law in Illinois known as Scott's Law, Illinois State Police said.

Two state troopers have been killed so far in 2019 by drivers violating Scott's Law, and 26 have been struck by vehicles. Over the weekend two state troopers on I-57 were injured in a crash that police said was caused by a drunk driver.

Trooper Philip Ayala has survived two close calls while on the roadside.

"Had I not taken a step back they would have hit me," Ayala recalled.

The two troopers on I-57 early Sunday were less lucky. An alleged drunk driver veered into one of their squad cars, setting off a chain reaction as it smashed it into another squad in front of it and then the car they had pulled over in front of that. The troopers were injured. The driver was issued citations for drunk driving and violating Scott's Law.

The law is named for a firefighter who was killed on the side of the interstate in 2002. It increases penalties for failing to slow down and move over for first responders and other vehicles on the side of the road.

"We're hoping that getting the word out will get people to think twice about committing a violation," said Illinois State Police Sergeant Delila Garcia.

Scott's Law citations increased dramatically from 728 in 2018 to nearly 6,000 in 2019. Governor JB Pritzker established a task force over the summer to study the issue and offer solutions.

"What are we going to do proactively to try and stop this, that's the goal of the task force," said Elizabeth Kaveny, of Kaveny and Kroll.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.