Scott's Law Attorneys in Illinois
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Do you know what Scott's Law is in Illinois? Not very many people do, however considering the penalties a violation of this law include, people should.
According to the Illinois State Police, each day, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel, and highway workers encounter situations that place their lives in jeopardy while protecting the citizens of Illinois. Scott's Law helps to ensure that they can perform those duties out of harm's way.
Scott's Law (also known as the Move Over Law), was enacted in 2002 after Lt. Scott Gillen, a Chicago firefighter, was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while working at a traffic accident in 2000.
Scott's Law increases the penalties for drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles or cause accidents or injury to public safety or service personnel at roadside emergency scenes. Scott's Law applies to all vehicles displaying flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights, including highway maintenance vehicles.
When approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights activated, Scott's Law requires motorists to slow down and proceed with caution. Additionally, Scott's Law requires a driver to change lanes (if safe to do so) or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights.
For example, if you are driving in the right lane and see the flashing lights of a police car on the right shoulder and fail to move into the left lane to give the emergency vehicle a wide berth as you pass, a Scott's Law violation can occur.
Penalties for violating Scott's Law include: a fine of not more than $10,000; suspension of driving privileges for a period of up to 1 year but not less than 90 days for damaging another person's property; suspension of driving privileges for a period of not less than 180 days but no more than 2 years for injuring another person; and a 2-year suspension of driving privileges for causing the death of another person.
In our opinion this is a very well intentioned, but poorly enforced law. Almost every caller to our office with these charges has been a result of a sting operation rather than an actual emergency vehicle being stopped because of an emergency. Many of these stings take place off of major highways near cities like Joliet, Waukegan, Bloomington and Springfield to name a few. On top of that, while the public is required to know the law, this law has been very poorly publicized. Many individuals who travel through Illinois get stopped in these traps even though they aren't speeding and cause no harm.
If you get a ticket for a Scott's law violation in Illinois you need an attorney. The penalties if convicted are simply too great to risk going at it alone. We are lawyers whose goal is to answer your questions and refer you to the best lawyer we know for your situation. If you want our help please contact us at any time. All calls are free and we keep your information in strict confidence.