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IDOT unveils powerful new Scott’s Law ad

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019

* Press release…

The Illinois Department of Transportation is expanding its Life or Death Illinois campaign to include Scott’s Law, calling attention to the need to protect first responders, emergency personnel and frontline highway workers. A new video that will air statewide comes after Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed legislation strengthening the law while bringing together stakeholders to find solutions to prevent future tragedies on Illinois roads.

The video features footage of Kyle Deatherage, an Illinois State Police trooper struck and killed while making a traffic stop near Litchfield in 2012. Deatherage was survived by his wife and two young children. The video will air on TV, various online platforms and social media.

“We are humbled to be able to put a real name and face to Scott’s Law and the human toll that comes with all fatalities on our roads,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Sadly, these deaths are almost always preventable. Trooper Deatherage’s family has shown bravery and courage by helping IDOT raise awareness of these life-and-death issues.”

Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down and move over, if possible, when approaching any vehicle with flashing lights. It was named after Chicago firefighter Scott Gillen, who was struck and killed while assisting at a crash scene. In the past year, three state troopers have been killed while performing traffic stops.

“The Illinois State Police is grateful to IDOT for including Scott’s Law in the Life or Death Illinois campaign,” stated Acting ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “This campaign will honor the life of Trooper Deatherage and his family as well as the lives of countless other troopers, first responders and frontline highway workers by bringing a greater awareness to the sad consequences of violating Scott’s Law.”

Life or Death Illinois is the first comprehensive approach by IDOT to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, seatbelt use, work zones, and impaired and distracted driving. The campaign, which this year features stories of Illinois residents who died in traffic crashes, is made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT.

* The ad


More videos are here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Shall not be infringed - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    The callousness of people to race past an active scene involving first-responders or construction crews really gets my blood pressure up.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    Very powerful and sad, a young person taken from his young child. It’s worse than a nightmare. I’d rather see more law enforcement out there cracking down on bad drivers than locking people up for certain drug offenses.

  3. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Whew. This was tough to watch, but necessary to see. I wish people would slow down on Interstates in general. I typically set my cruise at around 72-73, and I get passed like I’m going 45.

  4. - Morningstar - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    “I typically set my cruise at around 72-73″

    Try fulfilling your own wish by driving at or below the speed limit.

  5. - Tequila Mockingbird - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    The text of the article says “slow down and move over, if possible”. The ad omits the “if possible”.
    The last time I was on interstate approaching emergency vehicles, I slowed down to 40mph and the other lane was full and no one made room. I wanted to clear the right lane but it was impossible to do safely under the circumstances.
    I wish it was more clearly stated.

  6. - Jocko - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    Wow. I’m hoping this finds it way to rotation on the major networks. My only change would be reminding people that this is LAW (with applicable fines) and, more importantly, **SLOW DOWN AND CHANGE LANES**

    I won’t scold Steve for driving 73 (depending on traffic and conditions)…as opposed to drivers who ‘park themselves’ in the far left lane.

  7. - Mac n Cheese - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    ==The ad omits the “if possible”. The last time I was on interstate approaching emergency vehicles, I slowed down to 40mph and the other lane was full and no one made room. I wanted to clear the right lane but it was impossible to do safely under the circumstances.==

    Thank you for not forcing your way in. I’ve been dangerously cut off by vehicles that don’t understand the “if possible” part of the law.

  8. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    Morningstar: I take it that your righteous indignation with my driving 72-73 means that you have never gone over the speed limit anywhere at anytime. Congrats for being the perfect driver–I didn’t realize there was one. I’m simply being honest. You?

  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    I’ve seen a few of these new IDOT ads on cable television and during a few sports telecasts. So far, everyone I’ve seen has been well done.

  10. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    If this doesn’t make drivers take notice…I don’t know what else would?


  11. - Shall not be infringed - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    Keeps your eyes open and keep a reasonable distance from the tailpipe in front of you and you will be able to see into the distance that there is trouble ahead. Then you can activate a flasher and plan a maneuver, even if you were going a little fast to begin with.

    This is not rocket surgery, it’s real life.

  12. - cc - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:00 pm:

    Please don’t forget to stay off phones.
    It’s hard to tell a drunk driver from someone on their phone when they’re drifting in and out of their own lane.

  13. - But does it work - Tuesday, Aug 13, 19 @ 10:48 pm:

    The ad works on -you-, because you have empathy. But frankly, and I tell you this as a marketing person; …I don’t think these spots will change much actual behavior.

    These kinds of appeals have been out there for decades, and if they worked, we would have seen a statistical correlation to prove it by now. And we haven’t.

    -You -react to it and -I- react to it, but we’re not the kind of people that needed this message in the first place; we already have empathy. Spots like this make us feel like we’re doing something, but that’s preaching to the choir, IMO.

    The kind of people that violate Scott’s Law and who race thru construction zones at full speed and higher - are not swayed by these kinds of appeals to reason and empathy. They’re solipsists.

    Speeding and driving aggressively and without care for anybody else is their default, because you and I do not matter to a solipsist. And the only thing that gives them pause at all when driving is seeing an actual cop right there in the lane next to them, pacing them, looking at them, ready to arrest them.

    It’s similar to some aspects of criminal psychology, in that, many criminals are not afraid of doing more prison time, so they re-offend. Some, you can scare off of using firearms in their crimes, at least, because the time they do for that is harder time. Dangerous drivers are not scared of a big fine and the threat of short jail time; they reason that the courts will let them weasel out of a first offense with little to no real time served. And the stats don’t contradict their logic.

    With these solipsistic drivers, they won’t be swayed by what happens to others, only to themselves, so, ever more severe penalties and absolutely strict and aggressive enforcement, right in their face, without the possibility of shortened sentences, is what might have some chance of working. That, and working a message at the people who live with such a person. They have a chance to have an effect if they’re a passenger in that car. Australia did some campaigns with that strategy with marked success. What it does is out a cop in every car, in the form of a concerned, and… -empathetic- loved-one as passenger.

    If you want a more permanent answer, I think you have to really push this in schools and with young kids, before they even become drivers. SOS already does education along these lines, but it could be strengthened. You have a near impossible job, changing the world view of a solipsist. You have a better chance if campaigns are aimed to the people who love and live with one. They might be the only real influence on the bad driver.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Pritzker hits the road
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* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Budget and BIMP stuff (Updated with this week's password)
* Pritzker unveils business guidance; takes questions on budget, legislature, EO
* Senate President Don Harmon talks to reporters
* Madigan's closing statement
* Yesterday's stories

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