Making our roads safer

State officials and lawmakers are asking the public to slow down and drive more carefully after two Illinois State Police officers were killed in recent distracted-driving accidents.

Trooper Gerald Ellis was on duty April 6 when he was killed in a head-on collision with a vehicle traveling the wrong way on Interstate 94. Two days earlier, on April 4, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was struck and killed by a semitrailer during a roadside inspection of another truck, just west of Illinois Route 75.

Their deaths brought to three the number of troopers killed in 2019. On Jan. 12, Trooper Christopher Lambert was killed after being hit by a car on I-294 while at the scene of an accident.

Lawmakers from around the state are expressing concern about the number of troopers who have been hit by vehicles – 16 so far in 2019. In 2018, just eight troopers were hit; 12 were hit in 2017; and five in 2016.

Illinois Acting State Police Director Brendan Kelly and the Governor are urging motorists to obey Scott’s Law, which mandates that when approaching any police or other emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway, drivers must proceed with due caution, change lanes if possible, and reduce their speed.

State Police have also stepped up enforcement of Scott’s Law and are trying to raise awareness of the issue through social media.

Jil Tracy

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