Inside the Tollway
Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a package of legislation to expand Scott’s Law in an effort to protect law enforcement, first responders, road workers and the everyday motorist.
Scott’s Law, sometimes known as the “Move Over” Law, requires drivers to slow down and move over safely when approaching any vehicle with hazard lights flashing. First enacted in 2002, the law is named after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene.
Several state troopers have lost their lives this year on the state’s roadways; two were killed when drivers violated Scott’s Law. In addition to honoring the memory of Troopers Christopher Lambert, Brooke Jones-Story and Gerald Ellis, Public Act 101-173, increases the minimum fine for a first-time Scott’s Law violation to $250 and to $750 for subsequent violations. All Scott’s Law violations will also result in a $250 assessment fee, which will be deposited into a statewide dedicated fund to produce driver education materials to ensure the next generation of drivers fully understands the importance of this life-saving law. To support these efforts, the Secretary of State will include written questions on Scott’s Law in the driver’s license test.
The new law also increases criminal penalties to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, if violation results in damage to another vehicle or a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to one to three years in prison, if violation results in an injury or death of another person. An aggravating factor will also be added to reckless homicide charges if Scott’s Law was violated.
Additionally, the legislative package includes efforts to further research Scott’s Law violations and increase work zone safety:
- Public Act 101-174 creates the Move Over Task Force to study the causes of violations and ways to protect law enforcement, emergency responders and Illinois residents. The Task Force, which includes representatives from the Illinois Tollway, must present its findings and recommendations by January 1, 2020.
- Public Act 101-172 increases penalties for violations that occur in work zones. Drivers who disobey traffic-control devices within designated highway construction or maintenance zones face a penalty between $100 and $1,000. Penalties for drivers ignoring construction or maintenance zone rules, when workers are present, have increased from $10,000 to $25,000.
Working with transportation, safety and government leaders, the Illinois Tollway is spearheading the Give Them Distance campaign to educate drivers and students about the importance of the Move Over Law and steps to take if stalled or stranded on the side of the road. Learn more and take the Give Them Distance pledge for safer roads here.
The Illinois Tollway is committed to continuing its efforts to educate drivers about Scott’s Law, increase enforcement for violators and identifying new opportunities to keep our roadways safe. Visit the Roadway Safety section of our website to find out more about our initiatives.