Governor, Lawmakers Plan To Crack Down On Scott’s Law Violators – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — Amid a disturbing spike in the number of drivers ignoring the law requiring them to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois state lawmakers plan to unveil new legislation to strengthen the state’s move over law, also known as Scott’s Law.
So far this year, 16 Illinois State Police troopers have been struck by drivers who failed to slow down and move over one lane for an emergency vehicle stopped at the side of the road with emergency lights flashing. Two of those troopers have died.
Legislation to be unveiled on Tuesday aims to strengthen Scott’s Law and reduce the number of violations on Illinois roads.
Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down, and move over at least one lane if possible for emergency vehicles that have their flashing lights activated – including police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, and construction vehicles.
A proposed amendment to the law would make violations a potential felony charge, carrying penalties of up to 3 years in prison for a first violation, up to 5 years in prison if anyone is injured, and up to 7 years in prison if anyone is killed.
“We have to act. We can’t just sit idly by,” said Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park), who sponsored the proposal. “We are making it a Class 2 felony if you hit and injure a first responder.”
A simple violation of the law would carry a minimum $500 fine, Cabello said.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White also is trying to crack down on violations of Scott’s Law. There will now be a reminder of the law on driver’s license renewal notices and vehicle registration renewals.
The state also is adding a test question about Scott’s Law to the written driving exam in Illinois.