Illinois State Police (ISP) have announced a special enforcement of Move Over (Scott’s) Law details dedicated in honor of fallen Trooper Christopher Lambert. On Jan. 12, 2019, Trooper Lambert was killed in the line of duty when he was on scene of a three-vehicle traffic crash in the left lane on I-294 near Willow Road. While handling the crash, another vehicle failed to stop and struck Trooper Lambert while he was outside of his patrol car. The initiative is designed to further educate the public of the Move Over (Scott’s) Law and is held in honor of his memory, a legacy of courage, honor and duty.
The statewide detail will begin on Sunday, Jan. 12, and run throughout the week ending on Saturday, Jan. 18. Enforcement details will focus on making Illinois roads safer through raising awareness of the Move Over (Scott’s) Law.
In 2019, 27 ISP stationary squad cars had been struck by vehicles and drivers who violated the Move Over (Scott’s) Law, higher than the number of all ISP crashes of this sort that occurred in all of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Two of these crashes resulted in the tragic, unnecessary deaths of Trooper Christopher Lambert and Trooper Brooke Jones-Story.
ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said, “In one of his final acts, Trooper Christopher Lambert placed himself and his squad car between the public and danger. This act of courage is a testament to his noble character and embodies the true mission of ISP, to serve with integrity and pride. We will continue to honor Trooper Lambert’s legacy, and we ask the public to join our efforts. Slow down and, if possible, move over if you see a police or other emergency vehicles stopped along the roadway.”
“Like Chris, our Troopers put themselves on the line every day not knowing if they will return home,” stated District 15 Commander Dominic Chiappini. “He made the ultimate sacrifice that day. He courageously laid down his life to shield another. It is our honor and duty to continue to talk about his fearless actions and raise awareness in his name,” he concluded.
Effective as of Jan. 1, violators of Illinois’ Move Over (Scott’s) Law will be fined no less than $250 for a first offense and no less than $750 for a subsequent offense. If the violation involves property damage, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period anywhere between 3 to 12 months. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between 6 months and two years.
The Move Over (Scott’s) Law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights, and any stationary vehicle with their hazard lights activated. The law also states, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, drivers are required to proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle and leave a safe distance until safely passing the stationary vehicle.
Trooper Christopher Lambert began his ISP career in 2013 and graduated with Cadet Class 123. He served honorably in the United States Army for eight years. He is survived by his wife, children and parents.