The Move Over Law in Illinois requires all drivers approaching a stationary vehicle that is flashing emergency lights – whether it’s an authorized emergency vehicle or a commercial truck or a car – to slow down, maintain a safe distance and change lanes, if possible – to move over.
This law went into effect in 2002. It’s known as Scott’s Law, named for Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was attending to a crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2002 when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver.
This April 18th, as reported by Belleville News-Democrat, marked the 10th Scott’s Law-related crash of 2023.
At about 11 a.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) were investigating a two-car crash on Interstate 56 southbound in Williamson County when they were sideswiped by a driver in a Dodge Durango. Fortunately, no injuries were incurred.
Steeper penalties and a Move Over Task Force
In 2019, Gov. Pritzker signed legislation strengthening Scott’s Law and creating a Move Over Task Force.
The fines were increased to $250 for the first violation and $750 for subsequent violations, in addition to a $250 assessment fee which will go to a fund for driver education materials called the Scott’s Law Fund.
Criminal Penalties were increased as well.
A driver who violates Scott’s Law and damages another vehicle will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and faces loss of driving privileges for not less than 90 days and no more than one year, and up to one year in prison.
If the Scott’s Law-related accident causes personal injury or death, that would be a Class 4 felony, with a loss of driving privileges of 180 days to two years and one to three years in prison.
The task force Gov. Pritzker created was formed for the study of Scott’s Law-related accidents – why they happen, how to prevent them, and how to protect law enforcement personnel and emergency responders.