Illinois DOT Helps Test “Move Over” Alerts for Motorists

The Illinois Department of Transportation is collaborating with AAA and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office to evaluate a new tool designed to keep motorists informed during emergency situations.

[Above photo via the Illinois DOT]

The Sheriff’s Office is one of three agencies that began implementing a digital alert system in late June; a system that provides early warning notifications to motorists approaching emergency scenes or when emergency vehicles approach vehicles on the road.

Photo by the Illinois DOT

A grant from AAA allowed the Sheriff’s Office to equip 20 patrol vehicles with the technology. Motorists can receive the alerts on their smartphones or by using Waze, Apple CarPlay, or Google CarPlay when a Sheriff’s Office vehicle is nearby.

AAA said the system aims to reduce response time for emergency services and allows motorists to make informed decisions and safely navigate around emergency situations as required by Scott’s Law, commonly known as the “Move Over Law.”

Over the next three years, Illinois DOT will invest $250,000 to research the effectiveness of this digital alert system technology and how to increase its use. Research will evaluate the system’s effectiveness in reducing operating speeds, increasing compliance with “Move Over Law” requirements, and reducing the number of crashes and near-crash instances

“It’s great to finally see these systems being tested and evaluated,” said Illinois DOT Safety Programs Unit Chief Juan David Pava in a statement.

“Having the location of emergency vehicles with lights activated broadcasted to navigation apps and in-cab notification systems for compatible vehicles is a big deal,” he added. “I’m hopeful for positive results from our research and allowing us to look at implementing this technology in more first responder and Illinois DOT vehicles. I am confident that increased use of innovative technologies will save lives.”

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