Illinois law requires all drivers to yield to emergency vehicles on the side of the road. This law is called “Scott’s Law” in honor of Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed by a passing motorist while working an emergency. The law is on the books at 625 ILCS 5/11-907.
The Illinois legislature passed Scott’s Law to protect police officers, fireman, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) when they are parked on the side of the road in the scope of their employment. An emergency vehicle includes almost any vehicle with red, blue, or white oscillating lights (such as police vehicles, ambulances, etc.) or using audible signals (such as a siren).
Scott’s Law says that if the emergency lights or siren are activated, all drivers must attempt to slow down and change to a lane away from the emergency vehicle. If changing lanes is not possible because of heavy traffic, drivers must slow down.
Drivers can be ticketed for failing to change lanes when approaching a police car on the side of the highway. The ticket is a petty offense and has a mandatory fine of $100 and up to $10,000. The higher fine would be imposed if there was an accident.
A violation of Scott’s Law that results in an accident involving property damage will cause the Secretary of State to suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for a period of 90 days. If the accident causes injury, then the suspension is 180 days. Last, if the accident resulted in death, then the Secretary of State will suspend the offender’s license for 2 years.
For purposes of the fine, the fact that the defendant was driving under the influence is considered to be an aggravating factor calling for a higher fine.
If the police wrote you a ticket for Scott’s Law, you may risk losing your driver’s license.