01132021CM0747SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is highlighting two initiatives signed into law Thursday aimed at advancing safety and improving mental health resources for first responders.

“In order to protect our first responders and other highway workers, drivers should always use caution, slow down and move over when approaching vehicles with flashing lights along the roadway,” Crowe said. “Far too many public servants have lost their lives due to distracted drivers, and Illinois will not tolerate carelessness.”

House Bill 3656, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, adds an aggravating factor if a motorist disobeys Scott’s Law while using a handheld cell phone and clarifies a driver’s responsibility for reacting to an oncoming emergency roadside situation.

Senate Bill 1575 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health to create an online resource page with a comprehensive collection of mental health resources specifically geared toward first responders.

The site is expected to launch in January 2022 and will include information on crisis services, wellness, trauma, nutrition, stress reduction, anxiety, depression, violence prevention, suicide prevention and substance use.

“First responders serve our communities under intense pressure, and many of them need assistance in prioritizing their mental health,” Crowe said. “By making resources readily available online, our state is working to ensure all emergency workers have access to support as needed.”

Earlier this year, ISP reported a total of 1,340 Scott’s Law violations during the 19-day period between Feb. 18 and March 7.

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