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Scott’s Law Plays Important Part in Illinois Traffic Safety, Especially for Emergency Responders

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois Scott's LawIt is a general traffic safety rule to pull to the side of the road whenever an emergency vehicle approaches. Each state has its own specifics when it comes to its “move over” law, but Illinois’ Scott’s Law mandates that when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying its lights, a driver must:

  • reduce speed;
  • yield the right-of-way by switching lanes away from the authorized emergency vehicle; and
  • proceed cautiously with regard to safety.

Scott’s Law was issued in Illinois in 2002, named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. He was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while assisting a motor vehicle collision on an Illinois roadway. Drivers who violate Scott’s Law by failing to yield to emergency vehicles or causing accidents or injury to service personnel assisting at roadside emergencies face penalties, which include:

  • a fine of up to $10,000;
  • driving privileges suspended for up to one year, but not less than 90 days, if another person’s property is damaged;
  • driving privileges suspended for up to two years, but not less than 180 days, if the violation caused injury to another person; and
  • two-year driver’s license suspension for causing the death of another person.

According to an article published by the Chicago Tribune, a DuPage County driver was charged at the beginning of the year for violating Scott’s law in an accident that led to the death of an Illinois tollway worker and the injury of a state trooper.

Sam Nolen, Illinois State Police Director, said of Scott’s Law, “Each day, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel, and highway workers encounter situations which place their lives in jeopardy while protecting the citizens of Illinois. This legislation helps to ensure that they can perform those duties out of harm’s way."

If you or a loved one have been a victim in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, contact a Chicago car accident attorney today for a free case evaluation.

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