Illinois County Tests Out New Digital Notification Tool for Motorists

The Kendall County, Ill., Sheriff’s Office is moving forward with testing a new tool that will assist motorists of oncoming emergency situations while they are driving on the road.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is developing new technology that will warn drivers of emergency scenes, or when emergency vehicles are approaching, and is working alongside AAA and the Sheriff’s Department to bring it to fruition.

“It’s great to finally see these systems being tested and evaluated,” said IDOT Safety Programs Unit Chief Juan David Pava. “I look forward to seeing the results on the effectiveness and reliability of these systems.”

Using grants provided by the AAA, the Sheriff’s Department will be able to equip 20 patrol vehicles with new technology. IDOT indicated that motorists will be able to receive alerts on their smartphone devices or by utilizing apps such as Waze, Apple CarPlay or Google CarPlay when Sheriff’s office vehicles are nearby.

AAA added that the system also will aim to reduce response time for emergency services and help motorists make informed decisions that can help them navigate around emergency situations – which is mandatory under Scott’s Law, frequently known as the Move Over Law.

“By staying informed and leveraging technology to our advantage, we can work together to create safer roadways, protect our first responders, and save lives,” said Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird.

IDOT stated that over the next three years, the department will be investing $250,000 to investigate how effective the Digital Alert System Technology is, and how to expand its usage. The state also said it will evaluate the system’s success in lowering operating speeds, increasing compliance with Scott’s Law requirements, and lowering the number of crashes and near-crash instances.

“Having the location of emergency vehicles with lights activated broadcasted to navigation apps and in-cab notification systems for compatible vehicles is a big deal,” Pava said. “I’m hopeful for positive results from our research and allowing us to look at implementing this technology in first responder and IDOT vehicles. I am confident that increased use of innovative technologies will save lives.”