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Pritzker signs bill aimed at ‘strengthening’ Scott’s Law

ROCKFORD (WEEK) — To help protect law enforcement, first responders and road workers, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a series of bills to increase fines for roadside violations and assemble a task force to study roadside incidents.

“Since 2002, Scott’s Law has said that drivers approaching a vehicle with their hazard lights on must slow down and move over. This is not optional. This is how we keep our heroes and first responders as safe as possible in their line of work,” said Gov. JB Pritzker.

In 2019, two Illinois State Troopers died when drivers violated Scott’s Law.

Fines have been increased, in an effort to strengthen Scott’s Law, to $250 for first time violators and second-time violators will see a $750 fine. If a violation results in damage to another vehicle, the criminal penalty is now a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. If the violation results in injury or death of another person, a person can face a Class 4 felony, punishable up to one to three years in prison.

These increases are effective immediately.

Construction zone fees have been increased to $100 to $1,000 for a driver who disobeys traffic-control devices in a construction zone or maintenance zone. 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.

This law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The Move Over Task Force has been created under SB 2038 with the aim to study the causes of violations and ways to protect law enforcement, emergency responders and residents of the state.

The task force is required to present its report and recommendations to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2020.

“Our hope is that the changes included in this legislation will help stop the accidents that could and should be avoided,” said Sheriff David Clague, President of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. “We believe that the changes signed into law will help better protect our emergency responders and all those on the roads of Illinois.”

Photo credit: WREX, Rockford

Drew Veskauf

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