Over the past few years, there appears to be increased enforcement of “Scott’s Law,” named after a Chicago firefighter who was killed in the line of duty by a passing motorist. The law increases penalties for drivers on approach of authorized emergency vehicles, who fail to yield to emergency vehicles or who cause accidents or injury to personnel at emergency scenes. This law was passed to reduce the 88 crashes involving motorists and parked police vehicles between 1998 and 2002.
When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights, a driver is required to proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by changing lanes to a lane not adjacent to the emergency vehicle, if there are at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction, and if the lane change can be made safely.
Offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and have his or her license suspended, ranging from 90 days if the violations causes property damage, to as much as two years if the violation results in the death of another person. The amendment requires a court appearance by the offender.
A similar law was passed, effective 6/01/03, which requires vehicles approaching or entering a highway construction or maintenance area or zone, when workers are present, to yield the right-of-way to authorized vehicles or pedestrian workers, and change lanes, if necessary and if safe to do so. A driver is also required to stop if signaled to do so by a flagger or traffic control signal and remain stopped until signaled to proceed.