Legislation could change how emergency vehicles operate in Illinois – Cities 92.9


(The Center Square) – A measure in the state’s capital would change the rules for ambulances and other emergency vehicles and the use of sirens.

Senate Bill 1251, offered by state Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, would require motor vehicle laws and regulations to be met when the ambulance or rescue vehicle speed exceeds 25 miles per hour. The current law sets that speed at 40 miles per hour. The bill also calls for the siren to be on when any pedestrian is present.

The bill is named after Donald (DJ) Stallworth III, who was struck by an ambulance without its sirens while riding his motorcycle.

Johnson explained her reasoning for the measure alongside Stallworth’s mother and other lawmakers on Thursday.

“In May of 2020, Donald Stallworth III’s life was tragically taken in Waukegan at the intersection of Lake Street and Gennesse Street, just outside of my office,” Johnson said. “While the ambulance lights were on, the siren was not in use.”

State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, said the old way of doing things in Illinois has not worked and that it is time for a change.

“Relying on an ambulance company or paramedics to self-regulate has not worked,” Mayfield said. “That’s why I am proud to be the House sponsor of Senate Bill 1251, the Donald DJ Stallworth Act.”

State Sen. Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, was brought to tears speaking about the measure and urged lawmakers to pass the bill to save lives.

“We have lost too many precious people to preventable situations,” Ventura said. “This bill shines a light on how necessary it is to have these precautions so families like these do not have to go through these painful moments.”

The measure passed through the Senate last month and now awaits further action from the House.

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April 28, 2023 at 09:14PM

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