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Illinois State Police launch “Operation Sauter 2017”

Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today that ISP districts throughout the state will enforce road safety with a special enforcement memorial operation dedicated to fallen Trooper James Sauter, who was killed in the line of duty on March 28, 2013, when his ISP squad was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road.  This will be the fourth consecutive year of this safety operation honoring Trooper Sauter’s memory.

ISP Troopers throughout the state will be aggressively working the Operation Sauter detail for 24 consecutive hours March 28 – 29 in remembrance of their fallen comrade.

The focus of this operation will be commercial motor vehicle (CMV) enforcement.  ISP Troopers will be checking CMV drivers’ logbooks to ensure compliance.  CMV long-haul drivers are currently restricted to 70 hours of driving per week and are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to maintain a logbook documenting the number of hours they have driven.  Within the last four years, two ISP Troopers were struck and killed by commercial motor vehicles and another was seriously injured.  

Troopers will also be strictly enforcing the ISP’s Fatal Four mission: Speeding, Seatbelts, DUI, and Distracted Driving, to ensure the safety of the motoring public in preparation for the busy spring travel season.

“The ISP wants to remind the motoring public and commercial motor vehicle operators that safe driving saves lives,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz.  “It has been four years since the tragic loss of Trooper James Sauter, but we will continue to honor his legacy by enforcing road safety laws and keeping the highways of this state safe for all who travel on them,” Schmitz added.  

On September 8, 2015, the Willow Road Overpass was dedicated as the “Trooper James Sauter Memorial Overpass,” in Trooper Sauter’s memory.

The Illinois State Police urge motorists and out-of-state visitors to plan ahead, follow the rules of the road, and take the necessary safety precautions during this spring’s driving season.  In addition, motorists are required by law to reduce speed and change lanes when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.