SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A winter storm is expected to hit Illinois this week at the same time the Illinois State Police observes an annual day of honor and reminder.
Troopers are urging drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. If such, they are advising that people allow enough time for travel and to remain focused on the hazardous conditions. That includes obeying Scott’s Law.
Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down and change lanes when approaching stranded civilian vehicles or emergency vehicles and personnel that are assisting. The law also has its own day – Scott’s Law Day – which is observed every year on Dec. 23 to honor public safety workers and remind the public of Scott’s Law.
The date of Scott’s Law Day, Dec. 23, is the anniversary of the death of Lieutenant Scott Gillen. Gillen, the law’s namesake, was a firefighter in Chicago who was killed by a drunk driver while on the scene of a highway crash in 2000.
This year, Scott’s Law Day will coincide with a winter storm.
“With the hazardous winter weather approaching, it is extremely important everyone follow the rules of Scott’s Law, which require motorists to move over when approaching emergency and other vehicles stopped on the side of the road,” said State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Our Troopers and roadway workers are risking their lives to make the roadways safe. Do your part, remain attentive, slow down, and move over, so that we all make it home safely, not only this weekend, but always.”
This year alone has seen 25 State Police squad cars hit in relation to Scott’s law violations, the highest number in five years. 10 troopers were hurt during those crashes, five of which happened during a winter storm on Feb. 17.
Anyone who violates Scott’s Law faces a fine of anywhere between $250 and $10,000 for a first offense. If a violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s license will be suspended for anywhere from six to 24 months.