ROCKFORD (WREX) — Violators of Scott’s Law, or the Move Over Law, will now face tougher penalties.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed three pieces of legislation Tuesday morning in Rockford that strengthens Scott’s Law and creates a Move Over Task Force.
Two Illinois State Police Troopers have died this year as a result of a Scott’s Law violation, including Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, who was hit by a semi-truck while inspecting a vehicle on Route 20 back in March, who Pritzker recognized at his press conference Tuesday.
“…These new protections that we’re signing today carry the memory of the more recently loved and lost, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story and Trooper Christopher Lambert…”
A moment of silence for the fallen troopers followed Pritzker’s comments.
In total, there have already been 22 crashes violating Scott’s Law this year, more than 2018 total, according to Brendan Kelly, the Acting Director of Illinois State Police. Kelly also says more than 5,000 Scott’s Law citations have been handed out this year.
The first piece of legislation, SB 1862, takes several steps to strengthen Scott’s Law:
SB 1862 includes the following:
- Expands Scott’s Law protections to include a stationary authorized vehicle with oscillating lights, first responders, IDOT workers, law enforcement officers and any individual authorized to be on the highway within the scope of their employment or job duties;
- Increases the minimum fine to $250 for a first violation and to $750 for a second or subsequent violation, up to a maximum of $10,000;
- Adds a $250 assessment fee for any violation to be deposited into a new dedicated fund to produce driver education materials, called the Scott’s Law Fund;
- Increases the criminal penalty to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail if the violation results in damage to another vehicle, or a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to one to three years in jail if the violation results in the injury or death of another person;
- Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to include firefighter and emergency medical service personnel while acting within the scope of their official duties;
- Adds aggravating factors to reckless homicide charges.
The law takes effect immediately.
The second piece of legislation, SB 2038, requires the Secretary of State to include a written question related to Scott’s Law on the driver’s license exam.
The legislation also creates a Move Over Task Force to study the issue of violations of Scott’s Law, disabled vehicle law, and stationary authorized emergency vehicle law, with attention to the causes of the violations and ways to protect law enforcement and emergency responders. For a full breakdown of who would make up the Move Over Task Force, click here.
This law takes effect January 1, 2020.
A third piece of legislation, SB 1496, was also signed and it increases penalties for violations in construction zones.
The new law sets a penalty of between $100 and $1,000 for a driver who disobeys traffic-control devices within designated highway construction zone or maintenance zone and increases the penalty cap for a person who violates the rules on entering a construction or maintenance zone when workers are present from $10,000 to $25,000.
The law takes effect January 1, 2020.