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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerAs a driver in Illinois, it never hurts to review the rules of the road. A law that people sometimes neglect or fail to adhere to because of a lack of awareness is Scott’s Law or the Move Over Law. We will explain what it is, why the rule exists, and what penalties a violation carries. If you face traffic law charges, speak with a traffic law attorney. With their help, you will protect your rights and potentially lessen or eliminate any unwarranted charges.

Scott’s (Move Over) Law

In 2000, a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant, Scott Gillen, was killed by a speeding, drunk driver. As a result, the Illinois legislature passed Scott’s, or the Move Over, Law. Its premise is simple: if a first-responder has their siren or hazards on, all drivers in the vicinity need to move to the opposing side of the road and slow down. A significant amount of first-responder deaths each year encouraged Governor J.B. Pritzker to pass a more robust version of Scott’s Law. The new iteration comes with more potent repercussions.

The number of tickets issued for violations of Scott’s Law rose in 2019 because of the enhanced bill. The year 2019 saw around 6,000 Scott’s Law violation citations. A first offense could result in a $250 fine for the accused driver. A subsequent offense leads to at least $750 in fines. Drivers who fail to pull to the side of the road and cause property damage or injury will receive additional punishments: property damage can result in a mandatory license suspension of three to 12 months, and injuring another person leads to six to 24 months of suspension.

Since there are still several first-responder deaths each year, Illinois law enforcement has expressed a commitment to charging those who violate Scott’s Law. As such, remember to look and listen for first-responder vehicles with their hazards on - sometimes, you might not hear them - and pull to the opposite side of the road to keep other drivers, first-responders, and yourself safe. Not only that, but Scott’s Law helps ensure that first-responders get wherever they are called faster and have a higher chance of helping those in danger.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Attorney

Scott’s Law charges carry a lot of weight. Regardless of the circumstances in your case, it cannot hurt to work with a Kane County criminal defense attorney who is trustworthy and has the conviction to defend you in court aggressively. The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola is ready to take your case, so schedule your free consultation by calling 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.wqad.com/article/news/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/526-9aae3100-8b5d-48f3-ba4c-9580f8d4f519#:~:text=Scott's%20Law%2C%20also%20known%20as,Fire%20Department%20lieutenant%20was%20killed.

https://wrex.com/2019/12/23/illinois-state-police-remind-motorists-to-obey-scotts-law-while-traveling/#:~:text=Effective%20January%201%2C%202020%2C%20violators,%24750%20for%20a%20subsequent%20offense.

 

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IL traffic lawyerIn 2019, the Illinois State Police issued 5,860 tickets for violators of Scott’s Law. This law protects law enforcement officials during traffic stops by requiring drivers to give enough room when they see stopped police vehicles on the road.

Of the violations in 2019, the ISP reported that 27 police cruisers were struck and three officers were killed. In an attempt to protect Illinois officers, the state government amended Scott’s Law so that punishments are more costly to violators.

How Has Scott’s Law Changed?

Scott’s Law was passed in 2002 to protect Illinois law enforcement officers. This past year, there were more violations than in 2016, 2017, and 2018 combined.

Violators of Scott’s Law used to be fined $100 for first offenses, but this year, fines have been doubled to $250. Subsequent offenses will cost no less than $750. Additionally, each violation of Scott’s Law will be punished with a $250 fine that will fund education of this law.

Lastly, drivers who injure or kill any during a violation of Scott’s Law will be charged with a Class 4 felony; punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of 1-3 years.

Scott’s Law is not the only traffic charge that was amended starting in 2020:

  • Speeding through a construction zone will now be punished with a fine of $25,000 - an increase from $10,000.
  • Disobeying traffic signals within a worksite will be punished with a fine of $100-$1,000. This is a new law that started at the first of the year.
  • Passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended will be punished by a fine of $300 - increased from $100 - for first offenses. Subsequent offenses are punished with a fine of $1,000 - increased from $500.

Other Roadway-Related Rule Changes

The state of Illinois added several other law changes to make the road safer:

  • The distracted driving law was made more specific by officially including watching and making YouTube videos illegal while driving.
  • Chicago-area interstates will have more video surveillance installed in order to make an investigation of roadway crimes easier.
  • Garage and public parking lot fees will increase - 6% daily and 9% monthly - and funds will go towards Governor J.B. Pritzker’s “Rebuild Illinois” infrastructure project.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

It is still early into the year and not everyone has adjusted to the new laws. If you are fighting traffic charges, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against major fines. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic offense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-liststory-illinois-new-laws-2020-20191218-k3sjxat7mvgonbbbvyr7anlbja-list.html

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Illinois-stiffens-penalties-for-Scotts-Law-violators-in-2020-566184421.html

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/illinois-doubling-scotts-law-fines-in-2020/63-d9f1e458-8707-4a81-b54b-44ee8cc7a5c1

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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois observes a special law when it comes to stopping for an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle. Scott’s Law - also known as the “Move Over” Law - was created in memorial of Scott Gillen, a Chicago firefighter who was struck and killed while assisting victims in a crash. The drunk driver of the vehicle that killed Gillen did not leave enough room when traveling around the accident. If a driver does not obey Scott’s Law or give room to a moving emergency vehicle - such as a police car or an ambulance - they are committing a traffic violation punishable by fines and even prison time.

Why It Is Important to Move Over for Ambulances

If you see an ambulance driving down the road, more times than not they are en route to saving someone else’s life. If their lights are flashing, it is a real emergency and those on the road are required by law to slowly drive as close to the right side of the road as possible. This will give the emergency vehicle more room and a more clear path to their destination.

Illinois law states that other drivers will not only drive on the right side of the road but will also stop their vehicle to allow the ambulance to safely pass. The only exception to this rule is if a police officer instructs the drivers to continue moving at a safe speed.

At the same time, cars are not permitted to block an intersection. They must still obey the right-of-way rules so as not to cause an accident or collide with the emergency vehicle.

Punishments for Violations

The least severe punishment occurs if a person is pulled over for not yielding to an ambulance. As of Jan. 1, 2020, a driver who violates Scott's Law will be fined no less than $250 and no more than $10,000. Other punishments result in more severe cases:

  • A second offense results in a minimum $750 fine. 
  • If any damage is done to another person’s property during the violation, the offender will lose his or her driving privileges for a period of between 90 days and one year.
  • If a person is injured as a result of the violation, the offender will lose his or her driving privileges for a period between 180 days and two years.
  • If a person is killed as a result of the violation, the offender will lose his or her driving privileges for two full years and may be charged with a felony.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Traffic violations are taken seriously in the state of Illinois. If you or someone you know is facing traffic punishments after not yielding to an ambulance, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can represent you and make sure your rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic ticket defense lawyer, call us today at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-907

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a207.pdf

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