Dan Rozek, IOCI Radio
Give Them Distance pledge engages public in vital road safety initiative
SPRINGFIELD, IL-(Effingham Radio)- Illinois transportation, safety and government leaders are at the state Capitol today to honor the life of Illinois Tollway roadway maintenance worker David Schwarz and are calling on Illinois drivers to take the Give Them Distance pledge.
The Give Them Distance pledge launched as part of a statewide effort to emphasize the importance of the Illinois Move Over Law, which was expanded by Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017 and requires drivers to slow down and change lanes safely when approaching any vehicle stopped on the side of the road with lights flashing.
Schwarz was tragically struck and killed while working on the Tollway in 2017 by a driver who failed to follow the Move Over Law.
Governor Rauner joined leaders from the Illinois Tollway, Illinois State Police, Illinois General Assembly and AAA recognizing Schwarz’s life today and emphasizing the importance of this vital law by calling on all drivers to take the Give Them Distance pledge.
“Too many lives are lost on our roadways,” Rauner said.
“Awareness of this common-sense law is so important to any driver in Illinois who has to pull off the side of the road, whether it is a commuter, roadway maintenance worker or emergency first responder. We want to make sure everyone remembers to slow down and move over for any vehicle with flashing lights.”
“We have set an ambitious goal of achieving 1 million Give Them Distance pledges so that the Move Over Law becomes second nature to all drivers on Illinois roads. Through Give Them Distance, it is our hope that everyone who works and travels on Illinois roadways can make it home to their families safely each night,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman.
State Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City) and the Illinois House of Representatives honored Schwarz through House Resolution 804 and joined the Give Them Distance team to call for safer roads throughout Illinois.
“David was a dedicated husband and father and was proud of his work. Every day for 25 years, David showed up to work to help keep our roadways safe,” said Representative Jones.
“Today we honor his memory and commit ourselves to do everything within our power to make Illinois roads safer for everyone.”
“Ensuring the safety of roadways across Illinois is a responsibility that belongs to everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz.
“While our troopers are increasing enforcement of this important law in all parts of the state, I urge all drivers to take the Give Them Distance pledge, commit to move over for ALL vehicles on the side of the road and spread the word to your friends and family.”
Give Them Distance leaders, including the Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Office of the Secretary of State and AAA, are calling on members of the media, state legislators and drivers across Illinois to visit GiveThemDistance.com, take the pledge and share their commitment on social media to challenge their friends, family and constituents to join the movement for safer roads.
Among those who have already joined the movement by taking the pledge are ABC 7 Chicago Traffic/Transportation Anchor Roz Varon and Chicago Bears Quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
“At AAA, we know that drivers throughout Illinois are united in wanting to remain crash-free on safe roadways,” said Beth Mosher of AAA.
“We are proud to join our partners in this important effort to make all Illinois roads safer and urge residents across the state to take the pledge and know what to do when they see someone stopped on a highway.”
The Give Them Distance campaign launched in 2017 to raise awareness of the Move Over Law and to educate drivers about this vital road safety message.
Illinois drivers can find out more about the Give Them Distance initiative and take the Give Them Distance pledge at www.GiveThemDistance.com.