- Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:07 AM
ROCKFORD – To prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz’s (D-Chicago) legislation that strengthens Scott’s Law and finds a way to end senseless roadway fatalities was signed into law today.
“There is no reason why officers and first responders can’t be safe while addressing an incident on the side of the road,” Munoz said. “It needs to be second nature for drivers to slow down and move over whenever any vehicle is stalled on the side of the road.”
This year, Troopers Christopher Lambert, Brooke Jones-Story and Gerald Ellis were killed in the line of duty when hit by vehicles while their patrol vehicles were stalled on the side of the road. The law was initially passed in memory of Lieutenant Scott Gillen.
Senate Bill 1862, as amended, takes the following steps to strengthen Scott’s Law:
• Increases the minimum fine for a Scott’s Law violation without damage or injury from $100 to $500
• Makes a Scott’s Law violation that results in damage to a vehicle a Class A Misdemeanor
o A violation that results in injury or death would be a Class 4 Felony
• Adds a Scott’s Law violation to the list of aggravating factors that may be used in sentencing for reckless homicide
• Increases the penalty for a reckless homicide conviction based on a violation of Scott’s Law that results in the death of a firefighter or emergency medical services personnel to a Class 2 felony from a Class 3 felony
• Applies Scott’s Law to the requirements for approaching any disabled vehicle
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.