SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Police is urging motorists to respect the Move Over Law and to use caution when approaching stationary authorized emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights or any other emergency equipment on the interstates and roads.
The Move Over Law (Scott’s Law) was enacted in 2002 in memory of Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed on Dec. 23, 2000, by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene. The law requires motorists to yield to emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles displaying oscillating, rotating or flashing lights.
Gov. Bruce Rauner acknowledged the law in a proclamation signed on Dec. 21. The proclamation, coupled with House Bill 246 initiated by state Rep. Brian Stewart, underscores the law’s importance.
“Illinois emergency and highway workers are continuously exposed to the dangers of being hit by motorists,” Rauner said. “The Move Over Law is critical to the preservation of the lives of our public servants and the safety of all motorists. It is my hope that through education and enforcement, motorists will use caution, slow down and move over when approaching stationary emergency vehicles.”
Most recently, a commercial motor vehicle driver failed to move over and caused a fiery crash on Interstate 88 near Aurora, killing 39-year-old tollway worker Vincent Petrella and severely injuring ISP District 15 Trooper Douglas Balder. This crash has become part of an alarming series of incidents involving commercial motor vehicle drivers striking ISP, Illinois Department of Transportation and other emergency vehicles. In recent years, ISP Troopers James Sauter and Kyle Deatherage also were killed by CMV drivers violating the law.
“Illinois State Police troopers will aggressively enforce the Move Over Law to protect first responders and highway workers on Illinois roadways,” ISP Director Leo Schmitz said. “The Move Over Law is designed to protect motorists and emergency workers by reducing the likelihood of a preventable tragedy from occurring.”
The law requires drivers to change lanes (if safe to do so) or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights. Violators can be fined not less than $100 or more than $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years if the violation involves injury to another.