Scott’s Law Not Being Observed By Drivers In Winnebago County
There is a law that has the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department wondering if anyone is going to follow it.
In Illinois, there was a law that was created to protect emergency providers as they take care of people on the side of the road. The law was originally called "the Move Over Law", then was renamed "Scott's Law" after a Lieutenant named Scott Gillen was killed by a drunk driver after he was responding to an accident on the Dan Ryan Freeway back in 2000.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department has recently gone to Facebook to remind drivers about the law.
If you are not familiar with the law, here are the exact details:
"An authorized emergency vehicle under Scott's Law, includes ANY vehicle authorized by law to be equipped with oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights under Section 12-215 of this Code, while the owner or operator of the vehicle is engaged in his or her official duties."
This is a serious law that if broken, could cost you thousands.
"A person in violation of Scott's Law commits a business offense punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000. Scott's Law also provides that it is a factor in aggravation if the person committed the offense while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds. If this is the case, a person's driving privileges shall be:
- Suspended for 90 days to one year if the violation results in damage to the property of another person
- 180 days to 2 years if the violation results in injury to another person;
- 2 years if the violation results in the death of another person."
The simple thing to do when you see any lights on the road is to slow down, yield to traffic and get over to the other lane. That is if you are on a four lane highway. I travel a lot on two lane highways to get my girls for the weekend. I always slow down and merge to the other lane until it is safe to get back into the right lane.
It is a good thing that the sheriff's department is reminding people about the law. Those brave men and women put their life on the line every day and a simple task will keep them safe.