- June 3, 2019
Summer is a busy season for the roadways with outdoor family activities and family vacations. Before the summer vacation season kicks off, you should review some summer road safety tips. More example, how should you handle passing a vehicle pulled over to the shoulder of the road with flashing lights? Illinois has a specific law known as Scott’s Law. The law can keep you and the professionals on the road safe as you travel this summer.
Overall, these laws keep emergency services personnel safe while they work. Examples include:
- police officers,
- emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and
- construction and maintenance crews safe.
You may have heard that this year alone, motorists have struck 16 Illinois State Troopers along the sides of Illinois roads. Tragically, two of these troopers have tragically died. Scott’s Law requires that all drivers move over. The law states that you must move over at least one lane for emergency or commercial vehicles when they
displaying flashing lights or
while pulled over to the side of the road
If a driver cannot move over, drivers must slow down until they have safely passed the vehicle parked on the shoulder.
Scott’s Law received its name from Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. In 2000, an intoxicated driver hit and killed Lieutenant Gillen while he was assisting with a vehicle accident along the side of the road.
Additionally, Wisconsin shares nearly identical language for their Move-Over Law. They require motorists to either slow down or change lanes to provide emergency or commercial vehicles pulled to the shoulder of the road the width of one lane.
What about regular cars?
You may know that you have a legal obligation to move over or slow down for emergency and commercial vehicles. But what about a regular car with hazard lights flashing pulled to side of the road?
Regular vehicles pull over to the side of the road most often for common car maintenance issues. Have you ever had to change a flat tire or mistakenly ran out of gas? Changing a flat tire on the shoulder of a highway can be an incredibly stressful and dangerous task when oncoming traffic fails to slow down or move over for the stopped vehicle.
To be safe, motorists should treat all vehicles pulled to the shoulder with flashing hazard lights just the same as emergency or commercial vehicles with flashing red, blue, or yellow lights. If you see a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder of the road, be sure to move over. Otherwise, slow down until you can safely pass the stopped vehicle if it is unsafe to move over.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a driver failing to follow move-over laws, contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. for a free initial consultation to discuss your options.