EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- The Illinois State Patrol has already had 10 troopers hit along the side of the road as of February 28, 2019. One of those crashes was fatal. Now troopers are taking extra steps to make sure people are moving over for cars stopped on the side of the highway.
"It just is highlighted more after the loss of one of our own," Trooper Jason Wilson says. "This is one of the most dangerous things that actually face us simply because we mostly deal with traffic."
The law requires drivers to move over for vehicles stopped on the side of the road with flashing hazards or emergency lights. If unable to move over, they should at least slow down.
Trooper Wilson says the state patrol is doing more to enforce that law. He says they're sending two squad cars to respond to every call along the interstate. One trooper will handle the situation, whether it's a broken down car or an accident. The other will watch for drivers who don't move over.
"You might have six, ten, twelve people that will just one after another go right by without thinking about moving over for you," Trooper Wilson says.
He says his goal is education, making sure people are aware of the law. But his biggest goal for himself and his fellow troopers is going home at the end of each day.
"We have families. We have loved ones that we want to go home to, too," he says.
In Iowa, at least four troopers have been hit along the side of the interstate. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, nearly a third of Illinois troopers killed in the line of duty were in a car accident or struck by a vehicle. Half of Iowa troopers were killed that way.