The Illinois Tollway is asking drivers to help save lives by promising to slow down and move over when they travel through work zones or pass vehicles stopped along the road.
To drive home that message, the Tollway is displaying the National Work Zone Memorial at the Hinsdale Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) , beginning September 16 and continuing through September 23.
The memorial wall lists the names of nearly 1,500 people who have died in work zone crashes, including Tollway roadway maintenance worker David Schwarz, who was killed on September 18, 2017 by a truck that failed to move over while he was working along I-294.
While the memorial wall is on display, the Tollway is encouraging drivers who stop at Hinsdale Oasis to take the Give Them Distance pledge by promising to slow down and, if possible, changes lanes when approaching any stopped vehicle that has its hazard lights activated.
Illinois’ Move Over Law, also known as Scott’s Law, requires drivers to take those precautions to protect emergency responders, workers and drivers who are stopped along the road.
“We have seen first-hand that the consequences can be deadly when drivers disregard the Move Over Law,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Jose Alvarez. “We are committed to protecting everyone who travels or works on our road and we believe this memorial can help spread the word that drivers need slow down and move over when they encounter workers or stopped vehicles.”
Schwarz was a roadway maintenance worker with 25 years of service at the Tollway when he was struck and killed.
More recently, Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert died on January 12, 2019 when he was struck by a vehicle that failed to move over while he was assisting at an accident scene on I-294 near Northbrook.
Drivers will be able to take the Give Them Distance pledge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily between Monday, September 16, and Friday, September 20. Drivers who take the pledge also are encouraged to post their pledge on social media to help spread awareness of the law.
The National Work Zone Memorial is being displayed by the American Traffic Safety Services Association Foundation as a way to remember those who have lost their lives in work zone crashes and to raise awareness about the critical importance of driving safely in work zones.