* Chicago Tribune letter to the editor…
Two years ago, an Illinois state trooper pulled me over for not changing lanes while passing a traffic stop. He asked me if I had heard of Scott’s Law. He explained it was enacted because a firefighter had been hit on the road during a traffic accident.
Having never heard of the law, I questioned why. It seems it is my responsibility to keep up with changes in the driving laws. I question how many Illinoisans take the time to do this. (I had not.) In reading about it, I was surprised to find that the law had been expanded in 2017 to include any vehicle with flashing lights.
The current approach of spreading the word by pulling drivers over individually to inform/ticket them into compliance seems like a giant Whac-A-Mole-type effort to accomplish what should be handled by the department that oversees motor vehicles. If the changes in driving laws were required reading during license renewal, Illinois could reach every driver in the state within four years.
* Brilliant idea, except it’s already in the official Rules of the Road manual three separate times…
When approaching a stationary (non-moving) emergency/maintenance vehicle using visual signals, Illinois law requires motorists to yield, change to a lane away from the emergency workers when possible and proceed with caution. If a lane change is not possible, a driver should reduce speed and proceed with caution. […]
Right of Way
A driver must yield the right of way to other drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians… When approaching emergency vehicles using audible and visual signals. […]
Drivers must drive on the right half of the roadway except… When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.
When I was growing up, every adult driver told me about slowing down and moving over when a car or truck was sitting on the side of the road, particularly when it was a police car or a tow truck. It’s just basic courtesy and common sense.
I cannot comprehend why people can’t figure out this extremely simple thing.
* Highway Officials Warn of Spike in Motorists Hitting, Killing State Troopers: Federal and state highway officials are warning drivers to be more cautious amid a troubling and unexplained rise this year in the number of state troopers struck and killed while going about their duties outside their vehicles. Nationwide, 14 troopers have been killed in this manner so far in 2019, compared with nine for all of 2017, the latest year available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.