Legislation introduced to strengthen Scott's Law in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois state lawmakers introduce new legislation to strengthen enforcement of Scott's Law and crack down on violations.

Graphics courtesy: MGN

This comes after 16 Illinois State Police troopers were struck by drivers who failed to follow Scott's Law this year. Three ISP troopers have been killed while on the road in 2019.

Scott's Law applies to drivers approaching any police or other emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway. When approaching an officer's vehicle with flashing lights, drivers are ordered to change lanes (if possible), reduce speed and proceed with caution.

A proposed amendment to the law would make violations a potential felony charge, carrying penalties of up to three years in prison for a first violation, up to five years in prison if anyone is injured, and up to seven years in prison if anyone is killed.

“Scott’s Law says that drivers approaching a vehicle with their hazard lights on must slow down and move over. The legislation we’re announcing today enhances penalties for those who don’t obey the law and raises awareness for those who don’t even know Scott’s Law exists,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “No one’s time or convenience is worth more than the lives of our state’s heroes.”

The proposals, SB 1862 and SB 2038, intend to make punishments harsher for those who violate Scott's Law and determine more ways to protect law enforcement and emergency responders when violations happen.

One of the co-sponsors of the legislation is Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park).

“This legislation is one way we’re working to protect the protectors,” said Rep. John Cabello. “Too many first responders have paid the ultimate price, and we are honoring their legacy by preventing even more tragic losses among our state’s heroes.”

Illinois also plans to add a test question about Scott's Law to the state's written driving exam.