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Understanding Scott’s Law

We want to talk about an Illinois traffic law that many motorists are not completely familiar with: Scott’s Law. Scott’s Law is the Illinois version of the move over law. All fifty states have now adopted some version of a move over law. In Illinois, Scott’s law was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen, a member of the Chicago Fire Department, who was killed in the line of work when he was attending a crash site on the side of the road way.

The rule states that if you come upon a vehicle that has stopped on the side of the road, with flashing lights on, you must do three things:

  1. You must slow down.
  2. Change lanes if it’s safe to do so, move into a lane away from the stopped vehicle.
  3. Proceed with caution.

The Illinois state police are out enforcing Scott’s law. In 2019 alone, they wrote over 5,800 tickets, compared to 2018 which was only 700. The Illinois legislature has also increased the penalties for violating Scott’s Law. The minimum penalty is now $250, and can go up to $10,000. If you violate Scott’s Law and cause a motor vehicle crash, there is a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. Remember, Scott’s Law is not a courtesy, it is the rule of law. Stay safe and be well.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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