‘Scott’s Law’ Reminder: Slow Down & Move Over for Emergency Lights on the Road


After hearing about the 14th ISP squad car being hit this year, I want to help remind everyone that when you see the emergency lights of a State Trooper, ambulance, IDOT truck or tow truck, please exercise caution by slowing down and moving over to avoid hitting someone. Thank you to the men and women of the Illinois State Police who help keep our roads safe!

The “Move Over” Law — Scott’s law mandates that when approaching any police or other emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway, you must:

  • proceed with due caution
  • change lanes if possible
  • reduce your speed

An authorized emergency vehicle under Scott’s Law, includes ANY vehicle authorized by law to be equipped with oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights under Section 12-215 of this Code, while the owner or operator of the vehicle is engaged in his or her official duties.

Scott’s Law was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Scott’s Law mandates that upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red and blue lights or amber or yellow warning lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle :

  • proceed with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approach vehicle.
  • proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintain a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

A person in violation of Scott’s Law commits a business offense punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000. Scott’s Law also provides that it is a factor in aggravation if the person committed the offense while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds. If this is the case, a person’s driving privileges shall be:

  • Suspended for 90 days to one year if the violation results in damage to the property of another person
  • 180 days to 2 years if the violation results in injury to another person;
  • 2 years if the violation results in the death of another person.