What You Need to Know about Scott’s Law: Illinois ‘Move Over’ Laws

Reliable Car accident lawyer Illinois

In 2000, a passing car killed firefighter Lt. Scott Gillen as he was tending to motorists parked on the side of the road. Because of his death, “Scott’s Law” passed in 2002. This protects emergency personnel, firemen and police officers when they are parked on the side of the road in an official capacity and doing their jobs. In 2017, the law expanded to include any vehicle with flashing lights parked on the side of the road.

Scott’s Law now also protects tow truck drivers and other non-emergency service personnel – and protects stranded motorists, too. Therefore, if you become the victim of a motorist who violates Scott’s Law, let an Illinois car accident lawyer help you with your personal injury case.

What is Scott’s Law?

Following the tragic death of Scott Gillen, Scott’s Law passed to protect emergency and law enforcement personnel, as well as other service personnel, as they performed their job duties on the side of the road.

In Illinois, drivers must:

  • Yield the right-of-way 
  • Stop as close as possible to the right side of the road or curb when an emergency vehicle approaches with its lights and/or sirens going
  • Remain stopped until the vehicle has passed

Motorists who don’t follow these laws as spelled out in Section 11-907 of the Illinois Vehicle Code can be charged with a petty offense.

Scott’s Law

Scott’s Law violators face more serious penalties. This law pertains specifically to drivers who don’t move over or at least slow down when they approach any stationary vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.

It expanded to include ANY vehicle parked on the side of the road with hazard lights, including service personnel. Your Illinois car accident lawyer can use Scott’s Law to prove a personal injury case.

The New “Give Them Distance” Campaign of 2017 and Changes to Scott’s Law

In 2017, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner teamed up with state officials to increase awareness of Scott’s Law. The initiative also made motorists aware of changes to the law that took place in January of 2017.

The law now protects any vehicle with flashing lights, including hazard lights. Stranded private motorists and use their hazard lights can now count on Scott’s Law to keep them safe.

Drivers must yield the right-of-way and change lanes to the next lane over for any vehicle parked on the side of the road. Originally, the law only covered emergency law enforcement vehicles with lights and/or sirens going. Now it covers service vehicles and private motorists’ vehicles that have their hazard lights on.

If drivers can’t change lanes, they must proceed with due caution when they pass parked vehicles on the side of the road.

Observe Scott’s Law Whenever You Drive in Illinois

Also known as Illinois’ “move over” law, the state strictly observes Scott’s Law. Even out-of-state drivers will still have responsibility, if you drive in Illinois and violate Scott’s Law. Drivers can face fines of up to $10,000 and have their drivers’ licenses suspended for up to two years and may face jail time.

Scott’s Law protects you whenever you drive in Illinois. When you have your hazard lights on, drivers who pass you must either change lanes, or slow down.

In a Wreck and Need a Check? An Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Knows that Scott’s Law Gives You Rights in a Personal Injury Case

Injured by a passing motorist? You can file a personal injury claim. Your Illinois car accident lawyer will use Scott’s Law to help you win your case. Our team at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys is here for you. Call 708-222-2222 anytime, 24/7. Or, contact us via our LiveChat. We offer free consults and bring experience, skill, and passion to your case. Call now! We look forward to hearing from you. 

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.