Gov. Pritzker signs legislation to protect physical, mental health of 1st responders

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Governor JB Pritzker signed new legislation Thursday to protect first responders mentally and physically.

One of the new laws allows the courts to order community service as a form of punishment for violating Scott's Law, which says drivers approaching a vehicle with hazard lights on must slow down and move over. The law will take effect on January 1, 2022.

"When we are in crisis, first responders show up with the tools, skills, and courage to help us at a moment's notice - without hesitation. It's our responsibility to provide our heroes with the protection and resources they need to make their work safer," said Governor Pritzker. "I'm proud to sign these three measures today, but I want to remind you: our strongest asset in protecting our law enforcement is not a law on the books but our people on the ground. This is a wake-up call to every resident of Illinois. Your distracted driving could be someone else's worst nightmare - and no text is worth that."

Another bill signed by Governor Pritzker Thursday will create online resource page with a comprehensive collection of mental health resources specifically geared toward first responders.

The resource page will include crisis services, wellness, trauma information, nutrition, stress reduction, anxiety, depression, violence prevention, suicide prevention and substance use.

The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health to build the page, with a targeted launch date of January 2022.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.