QCA tow company avoids calls on interstates over safety; law enforcement reminds drivers of importance of moving over

Published: Nov. 4, 2019 at 5:34 PM CST
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Illinois State Police are reminding drivers to move over for any vehicle stopped on the side of the road after three Illinois State Trooper squad cars were hit in one week. ISP said all of the crashes involved violators of Scott’s Law.

Under Scott’s Law and Iowa’s Move Over Law, drivers are required to move away from any vehicle with its emergency or hazard lights on. If a driver cannot get over to the lane furthest from the stopped the vehicle moving traffic is required to slow down.

One of the recent crashes involving ISP squad cars happened outside of Chicago on I-57. Police say Clarence Junius was driving drunk and violated Scott’s Law.

“Life or death,” Billy Dittmer, manager of Dittmer Service in Davenport said. He knows how dangerous working on the side of the highway can be and it is why tow trucks at his shop rarely hit the highway. Dittmer said the danger is too much and he knows from first-hand experience.

"Been out there before and no one really gets over and the risk really isn't worth the reward,” Dittmer said.

Not moving over in both Iowa and Illinois is against the law. Since the beginning of 2019, 26 state troopers have been hit and two of them have been killed. Between January 1, 2019 and November 3, 2019, Illinois law enforcement has written 5,860 tickets to drivers violating Scott’s Law. During the same time period in 2018, 728 tickets were written.

Dittmer said his team does not make it a habit to provide highway help, but they do tend to answer a call or two each year.

"Those we regret doing every year so it is just a certain time and it is just not worth it,” Dittmer said.

The biggest problem Dittmer said is drivers are not paying attention. Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for car accidents.

"Everyone goes way over the speed limit number one and obviously people don't get over or you have two semis that are traveling along at the same speed and can't get along,” he said.

Dittmer is asking all drivers to remember anyone on the side of the roads wants to get home to their families.

“Please move over,” Dittmer said.

The state troopers hit this past week are expected to be okay.

Violating move over laws in both Iowa and Illinois can result in a ticket for a first offense and continued violations can land a person in jail.