Illinois State Police Are Cracking Down on Scott’s Law Violators

St. Charles Scott's Law violation defense lawyer

So far this year, 16 Illinois State Police (ISP) troopers have been struck by moving vehicles while performing their duties. Three of them were killed, according to a report from FOX News. This is a result of motorists failing to move over for emergency vehicles. Illinois observes “Scott’s Law,” which was created after Trooper Scott Gillam was killed by a motorist who did not allow enough room while passing the illuminated police cruiser on the side of the highway. Violating this law is a traffic offense that is being taken more seriously now. Illinois State Police announced earlier this year that they would be utilizing hidden police vehicles to better apprehend Scott’s Law offenders and make the roads safer for emergency vehicles.

Who Does Scott’s Law Protect?

Originally, the law protected only police vehicles with their flashing lights illuminated, but in 2017 the law was updated to include all of the following vehicles:

  • Automobiles with their hazard lights illuminated

  • Ambulances

  • Fire trucks

When approaching these vehicles, drivers are expected to slow down, move over one lane to give space to the stopped vehicle, and proceed with caution. For oncoming ambulances with their emergency lights flashing, motorists are required to move as far to the right as possible so the ambulance has adequate space on the road. Automobiles must remain stationary until the ambulance passes. The only cars permitted to travel directly behind a moving ambulance are those driven by members of the family of the person being transported by the emergency vehicle.

Punishments for Violating Scott’s Law

The consequences of violating Scott’s Law increased when the law was updated in 2017. Now, the offense goes on a person’s driving record in addition to the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $10,000

  • Driver's license suspended for a maximum of one year if property damage occurs

  • Driver's license suspended for 180 days to two years if someone is injured

  • Driver's license suspended for two years if someone is killed

Also, if an individual is killed as a result of a motorist's failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, the offending driver could face wrongful death charges and pay compensation to the deceased person’s family for pain and suffering.

Contact a St. Charles Traffic Violations Attorney

Motorists who do not move over for emergency vehicles can put other people’s lives at risk. This may lead to a variety of traffic violations charges for a driver based on the severity of the incident. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to Scott’s Law or any other traffic violations, you need legal counsel, since the punishments can be severe. The lawyers from the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa have experience fighting against all types of traffic offenses. We can help protect your rights and work to ensure that you do not lose your driving privileges. To schedule a free consultation with an Illinois traffic ticket defense lawyer, call our office today at 630-232-1780.

 

Sources:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/1-163.pdf

https://fox2now.com/2019/05/14/illinois-lawmakers-work-to-strengthen-scotts-law-to-better-protect-emergency-responders/

https://police.illinoisstate.edu/safety/scott/