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Rolling Meadows Scott's Law Defense Attorney

Schaumburg Traffic Violation Lawyer for Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

What Is Scott's Law in Illinois?

When you see a police car, fire truck, ambulance, or tow truck on the side of the highway as you are driving, what do you normally do? Perhaps you check to make sure that you are not speeding and simply maintain your course on the road, or maybe you tap your brakes as you try to figure out what happened on the side of the road but barely slow your vehicle's speed. Unfortunately, both of these responses could land you in a great deal of trouble thanks to an Illinois statute known as Scott's Law.

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley, we know that a traffic violation is always a serious matter. However, when you have been cited for violating Scott's Law—also called the "Move Over" law or the Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle law—you could be facing hefty fines and the possible loss of your driving privileges, even if it is your first offense.

Understanding Scott's Law

Scott's Law was enacted by the Illinois legislature in 2002 in the wake of the death of Chicago firefighter Lieutenant Scott Gillen. In September of 2000, Lt. Gillen was assisting at the scene of an accident when a drunk driver sped through the scene and struck Gillen. The measure was designed to increase protections for emergency responders by allowing harsh penalties for drivers who fail to yield for emergency vehicles and personnel.

According to Scott's Law, you must do three things when you see any emergency vehicle with flashing lights stopped on the side of the road. If you do not do all three things, you could receive a citation. You are statutorily required to:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Change lanes, if you can do so safely, so that there is an empty lane between you and the emergency vehicle.
  • Proceed with caution.

Emergency vehicles include any vehicle that is authorized by law to have flashing, oscillating, or rotating lights. These lights may be any combination of red, blue, white, amber, or yellow.

Penalties for Violating Scott's Law

A citation for violating Scott's Law is much more serious than your average speeding ticket or similar traffic violations. Under the law, a first violation is punishable by a minimum fine of $250, with a maximum fine of $10,000 possible. A second violation will result in at least a $750 fine, up to a maximum fine of $10,000.

The penalties may be increased substantially if there are aggravating factors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or causing property damage, injury, or death. A violation of Scott's Law that results in damage to another vehicle can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to one year in prison. A violation that results in the injury or death of another person is a Class 4 felony, which can be punished by one to three years in prison. If you violate Scott's Law while driving under the influence, your license will be suspended for 90 days to one year. If you violate Scott's Law and cause an injury to another person, you will lose your license for 180 days to two years. The suspension is automatically two years if you cause a death by violating Scott's law.

Experienced Traffic Violation Defense

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley, we believe that first responders and emergency personnel deserve to be protected from unnecessary dangers. We also realize that when you are facing prosecution for an alleged Scott's Law violation, you need a lawyer who will work hard to protect your rights. In fact, most courts in Illinois recommend against handling a Scott's Law citation on your own due to the complex nature of such cases. Our team will help you analyze your situation, explore your available options, and find a solution that minimizes the negative effect on your future.

Contact a Barrington "Move Over" Law Violation Defense Lawyer

For more information about Scott's Law or any other traffic law in Illinois, contact our office. Call 847-253-3100 for a free, no-obligation consultation at the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley today. We represent clients in Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Schaumburg, Cook County, and the surrounding areas.

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