Scott’s Law Gets an Update

In 2019, three Illinois State Police troopers died in roadside crashes, even after Illinois passed Scott’s Law. Scott’s Law is also known as the “move over law.” Scott’s Law requires Illinois drivers to reduce their speed and switch lanes in order to give first-responders more space when their hazard lights are flashing and they are pulled over on the side of the road.

The law was enacted in 2000 because the legislature sought to address the death of a lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department. A speeding drunk driver crashed into the lieutenant and pinned him against a fire truck, killing the lieutenant.

Scott’s Law Violations are at an All-Time High

In 2019, Illinois State Police wrote eight times as many citations for Scott’s Law violations than they did in 2018. From January 1, 2019 to November 3, 2019, law enforcement officers wrote 5,860 tickets. In 2018, law enforcement only handed out 5,860 citations for Scott’s Law violations. In addition to violations, three law enforcement officials died as a result of Scott’s law violations. Illinois drivers also struck 26 trooper cars that were pulled over on the side of the road.

The Penalties for Scott’s Law Violations are Harsher

As a result of the three Illinois State Police troopers who died after being struck by drivers while on the side of the road, the Illinois legislature has responded. How has Scott’s law changed this year? Beginning January 1, 2020, the following provisions will take effect regarding Scott’s Law:

  • Drivers who violate Scott’s Law and cause the death or injury to a law enforcement officer will face a Class 4 felony charge.
  • The Illinois Secretary of State must include at least one question regarding Scott’s Law on Illinois’ written driving test.
  • The state government will create Scott’s Law Fund to educate motorists on the importance of Scott’s Law. Drivers who violate Scott’s Law must pay a fee and these fees will fund Scott’s Law Fund.
  • The minimum fine for violating Scott’s Law will increase from $100 to $250 for a first-time violation. Drivers who violate Scott’s law a second time face a fine of $750. The maximum fine amount is $10,000.

What Constitutes a Scott’s Law Violation?

Scott’s Law is also known as the “Move Over” law. The law requires that drivers do the following when they are approaching a police or other emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road:

  • Proceed with due caution
  • Change lanes if possible
  • Reduce speed

Which vehicles fall under the category of emergency vehicles under Scott’s law?

Any vehicle that is authorized by law to be equipped with flashing lights, rotating, or oscillating lights require passing motorists to move over.

Facing Charges for a Scott’s Law Violation?

Those who have been charged with Scott’s Law violations face significant penalties, such as license suspensions and fines. If you are facing a Scott’s Law violation charge, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson as soon as possible.

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