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Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds drivers to obey Scott’s Law

A Lake County sheriff’s squad car conducts a traffic stop on a vehicle on Route 41 near Wadsworth Road in December | Photo: Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim is reminding motorists to observe Scott’s Law when driving, which means reducing speed and moving over for stationary vehicles with flashing lights on the side of the road.

Scott’s Law – also known as the Move Over Law – was named in honor of Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

“Scott’s Law is designed to save lives and should be observed at all times in Lake County,” Nerheim said. “As we approach “pothole season,” you can expect to see more crews out repairing our roads. They, like all first responders and construction workers, deserve to work in a safe environment.”

Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down and proceed with extra caution when approaching a stationary vehicle displaying flashing warning lights. In addition, Illinois motorists are required to move to an outside lane away from the stationary vehicle or slow down if switching lanes is too unsafe.

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Illinois law also requires drivers to slow down, discontinue all electronics use, and yield or change lanes away from any construction vehicles and workers while driving in a construction zone.

In 2020, the fines for Scott’s Law were increased. Violators can be punished by a minimum fine of $250 on the first offense and $750 for a subsequent offense, up to a maximum of $10,000 for additional offenses.

Other penalties may also apply to a Scott’s Law violation, including suspension of a person’s drivers license and criminal penalties when the violation includes property damage or injuries, Nerheim said.

“This law is simple: Just slow down and move over to avoid emergency and construction workers on the side of the road,” Nerheim said. “This law does one very important thing: it saves lives and we have zero tolerance for those that violate it.”


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