U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Illinois U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos were in East Moline today to announce new legislation called the "Protecting Roadside First Responders Act."
So far this year, 29 first-responders have been killed in roadside collisions. Every state in the country has a "move over law" like Scott's Law in Illinois that requires motorists to slow down and move over when a service vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder.
But, Congresswoman Bustos says 70% of drivers nationwide are unaware that those laws even exist.
"We want to make sure that there is funding for public awareness so that 70% gets down to - if we can have any say about it - 0%. We have good laws in Illinois and we have to make sure that people know about them."
Bustos would be the bill's lead sponsor in the House, while Senator Durbin would be the lead sponsor in the Senate. Durbin says the new bill would build upon Scott's Law, and hopefully get more drivers to move over.
"It allows states to apply for federal grants to educate the public, and to purchase and deploy digital alert technology, which could be a real godsend in the future."
The bill would also require the National Highway Traffic Safety administration to conduct research on how to improve efforts to prevent roadside deaths.