Lawmakers: We must do more to protect Illinois State Police troopers

By Benjamin Yount
Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD — The death of another Illinois State trooper over the weekend will likely have more Illinois lawmakers looking to do something more to protect troopers and punish drivers who fail to follow state laws.

One central Illinois lawmaker said the state has to do better. Trooper Gerald Ellis died early Saturday after being struck by a wrong-way driver in the Chicago suburbs. He is the third State Trooper to die so far this year. The other two, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story and Trooper Christopher Lambert, died in roadside wrecks.

State Rep. Tim Butler said Illinois’ existing law that requires drivers to move over for troopers, Scott’s Law, is not enough.

“We have to do better,” Butler said. “At a minimum we need to make Scott’s Law similar to how we treat construction zones. Apply the same penalties as when people go through construction zones and violate the law.”

Scott’s law requires drivers to slow down, be aware, and change lanes if possible.

“We need to do better as a legislative body to address this growing issue,” Butler told lawmakers last week. “We need to do better on Scott’s Law.”

The State Police are sending troopers to accident scenes to pull over drivers who don’t follow the rules.

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