The Illinois State Police (ISP) have issued a new statement in response to trucker protest convoys rolling through the state this week.
On Monday, February 28, ISP issued a statement promising to protect “public safety and the right to peaceful protest” as trucker convoys come through the state.
“ISP officials are reminding the public that several convoys are traversing the United States and therefore will be traveling through Illinois in the coming days. ISP would like all motorist to be mindful of increased traffic congestion in order to prevent traffic delays and traffic crashes. ISP would like all motorists traveling on Illinois roadways to arrive at their destination safely. Motorists are encouraged to pay close attention to their surroundings and obey traffic laws while driving and to share the roadways,” ISP said in a news release.
“Illinois State Troopers are dedicated to ensuring the motoring public is safe, including those traveling through Illinois as part of a peaceful protest,” stated ISP Division of Patrol Colonel Margret McGreal. She continued, “We are in contact with organizers and anticipate the convoys will enter Illinois and are able to travel safely along with other motorists on our roadways. We would like to remind the public that if we all work together, obeying traffic laws and sharing the roadways, everyone can make it to their destination safely. We are hopeful those traveling in the convoys have safety in mind and will be cognizant of traffic laws.”
One of the largest groups — dubbed the People’s Convoy — left Cuba, Missouri, on Tuesday morning, traveling through St. Louis with a planned stop on Tuesday evening for an indoor rally at Ted Everett Farm Equipment, located in Monrovia, Indiana. The group says that while their route is subject to change, they have no planned stops in Illinois and will remain at the Ted Everett Farm Equipment location through Thursday morning, March 3.
A previous statement issued by ISP threatened convoy participants with possible citations or arrest if they violate state law.
McGreal said in a February 26 statement that, “Though the Illinois State Police respects the rights of citizens to express their opinions in a lawful manner, there is great concern with any event that is designed to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”
McGreal continued, “Traffic backups are a major contributing cause to traffic crashes which lead to property damage, personal injury, and even death. A planned event designed to impede normal traffic flow is dangerous to the innocent motoring public. Those who choose to participate in events that intentionally endanger the public and violate Illinois law will be subject to the enforcement of applicable laws and could potentially be held liable for traffic crashes occurring as a result of their actions.”