Illinois Governor Signs New Traffic Bill Strengthening “Scott’s Law”

Back in 2002, Illinois enacted a new traffic bill called “Scott’s Law,” which required drivers to slow down and safely change lanes when they see any vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights on. The Bill was named Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed in 2000. This Bill is often referred to as the “Move Over” law.

In a move to strengthen protections for first responders, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed an updated version of this Bill, which now protects protections to include authorized stationary vehicles with oscillating lights, first responders, Illinois Department of Transportation workers, police and anyone authorized to be on the highway for work-related duties.

The new law increases the minimum fine to $250 for a first violation and to $750 for a second and subsequent violations and adds a $250 assessment fee for any violation of Scott’s Law that will be funneled into a new fund devoted to producing driver’s education materials, called the Scott’s Law Fund.

Criminal penalties will increase to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, if a violation results in damage to another car, or a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison, if a violation results in an injury or death. Through the new law, an aggravating factor will be added to reckless homicide charges if Scott’s Law is violated.

The secretary of state also must include a written question about Scott’s Law in the driver’s license test. This new law becomes effective immediately.

Changes to Scott’s Law come after three Illinois State Police fatalities have occurred on the side of the road. Two of the three fatalities came as a result of violations of Scott’s Law and the third involved a wrong way driver.

Let’s hope the changes to this law raise awareness for drivers when they see first responders and road workers on the side of the road to slow down and change lanes. These are workers who are in a position to help protect people, but at the same time are in incredibly vulnerable situations while often times standing on the side of a busy highway.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

Illinois State Police Cracking Down on DUIs During Summer Months

Summer is finally here and there is more traffic out on the roads than any other time of year. This is especially true over holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Fourth of July. The Illinois State Police and over 160 local law enforcement agencies are planning ahead to prepare for all the drivers on the road and launching “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns. If you unfortunately decide to drive under the influences and get arrested, then you may need to hire a post bail bonds company.

Both of these traffic safety campaigns are made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The crackdown runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that impaired driving has “Life or Death” consequences.  The safety campaign will run June 17 through July 8 to encompass three summer weekends leading up to and after Independence Day. The Illinois State Police and local police departments have issued the following tips to help make the roads safer, and ultimately save lives:

  • Give your designated driver your keys before you go out.
  • If you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass transit, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. Not only is it the law, it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

There will be a lot more police officers on the roads the next few weeks. This should not be the only reason to be careful before getting behind the wheel. More importantly, you can save the lives of those in your vehicle and the vehicles around you by deciding not to drink and drive.

If you or loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois truck accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant at 312-614-1076 for a free legal consultation.

Illinois State Police Enforcing New “Move Over” Law

According to the Illinois State Police’s (“ISP”) Facebook page, the department is focused on cracking down against drivers who violate the “Move Over” or “Scott’s law.” Enacted in 2017, 625 ILCS 5/11-907 (C), requires drivers drivers slow down, move over to another lane and proceed with caution if a car is stopped on the shoulder.

According to the Facebook post, in emergency situations where vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, the ISP may be placing an extra trooper near an accident to catch people who don’t follow the law. The trooper may be hiding in front of the stopped vehicle or behind another trooper vehicle, making it look like backup.

Violators of the statute will face a minimum of a $100 and up to a $10,000 fine, depending on the severity of the violation. For example, if the driver fails to slow down or switch lanes and then injures someone or causes property damage, then they will face a much higher fine. The ultimate fine is up to the discretion of the judge as there is no sliding scale written in the statute.

The law was enacted in honor of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while at the scene of an accident.

Please take caution when you see a vehicle on the side of the road, not just because you will avoid a ticket, but because you could avoid causing a major traffic accident.

If you or a loved was injured in a serious Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

New Illinois Left Lane Traffic Law Now In Effect

I wrote a few weeks back about the new Illinois traffic laws for 2019. I did not mention a new statute that was enacted back in 2017, but went into effect this year. The new law, 625 ILCS 5/11-701, requires drivers to stay within the right lane in two (2) lane highways.

There are several exceptions, which include when passing other vehicles or moving over for an emergency vehicle. The Illinois State Police, who pushed for this new law, stated that the purpose of the provision is to keep traffic flowing and increase safety.
You’re not supposed to travel in the left lane and stay there,” said Lieutenant Matt Boerwinkle, spokesperson for Illinois State Police. “The main focus is to ensure that motorists have a means to get around traffic that should stay in the right lane.” The state police posted the hashtag
#LeftLaneLollygaggersBeware to their Facebook page.

Violators of this new traffic law will be hit with a $120.00 fine.

Should you or a loved become injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police Enforcement Effort Leads To Nearly 6,000 Traffic Citations Memorial Day Weekend

CBS Chicago reported recently that the Illinois State Police’s (“ISP”) effort to crack down on traffic violations over the busy Memorial Day Weekend led to 5,924 traffic citations and 5,206 written.

Illinois State Troopers efforts included 109 drunk driving arrests and 815 seat belt citations.  ISP also provided assistance to approximately 1,300 stranded motorists. “I am very proud of the hard work displayed by the men and women of the Illinois State Police,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. “I am confident their enforcement efforts resulted in lives being saved.”

I think these numbers are encouraging, especially as it was predicted that this year would be one of the busiest traffic weekends of the year. Regardless, I would like to see how many of those citations were for distracted driving. Also, I would like to see the Illinois accident numbers compared to those over the last five (5) years. I think this would provide us some context as to whether the ISP’s enforcement efforts are actually reducing the number of traffic accidents.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois car crash or Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Police Departments Implementing 2015 ‘Click It Or Ticket’ Campaign

Illinois State Police along with hundreds of local police agencies around the state implemented the “click it or ticket” campaign, which ran from May 11 through May 25. This time of year officially kicks off the busy traffic season. I did a little research about this program and it was interesting to me to see that the main purpose, according to the Illinois State Police, is not to merely hand out tickets and collect money. The mission of this program is to influence people to buckle up and prevent injuries and traffic fatalities.

According to the website, stated that based on research, certainty of a ticket convinces more drivers to wear seat belts, which in turn decreases injuries and saves lives. Also according to the website, motor vehicle crashes are the number one leading cause of death and disability for Americans between the ages of 4 and 34. You can click here to answer frequently asked questions about “click it or ticket.”

The weather is much nicer but there a many more drivers on the road this time of year. To me, it has always been a no-brainer to wear your seat belt. It shouldn’t matter what time of year or if there’s an increased chance of receiving a ticket. It could actually save your life or at the very least prevent a serious injury.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police Announce Special Traffic Patrols May 12 to May 24

Summer is upon us and travelling season typically picks up around Memorial Day week. There a lot of travelers on the road beginning that weekend and the Illinois State Police are responding. In a press release, the department announced that officers will conduct special traffic enforcement patrols –referred to as “sTEP” between Tuesday, May 12, and Sunday, May 24, in LaSalle County. The troopers will concentrate on speeding, failure to use occupant restraints and other driving offenses as part of their enforcement efforts. The sTEP program involves a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws.

According to the press release speeding is a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide. In Illinois, speed-related car crashes account for over 40 percent of all traffic fatalities.

I would imagine we will see multiple traffic enforcement programs from state an local police over the Memorial Day weekend, which could include DUI stop zones and extra awareness on distracted drivers. As the weather gets nice there are a lot more of us out on the roads, so be safe.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Winter Driving Tips From The Illinois State Police

We were kind of lucky this winter in Chicago. December and January were fairly mild and we didn’t see a lot of ice or snow. That changed last week when the area was hit with what some are saying the 6th largest blizzard in Chicago history. Up to nineteen (19) inches of snow fell in certain parts of the metropolitan area.

With winter weather can com treacherous driving conditions. There is snow to deal with along with black ice and the resulting pot holes (though the city seems to be taking better care of these this year). The Illinois State Police have posted on their website some useful tips on how to prepare for winter driving and what to do in case you are stuck or have car issues.

What to do before driving in winter weather:

  1. Plan your travel, selecting both primary and alternate routes.
  2. Let someone know your travel routes and itinerary so that, if you don’t arrive on time, officials will know where to search for you.
  3. Check latest weather information on your radio.
  4. Try not to travel alone – two or three people are preferable.
  5. Travel in convoy (with another vehicle) if possible.
  6. Drive carefully and defensively. Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.
  7. If a storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately.
  8. If your car should become disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals. Be sure to “crack” a window in the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.

Here are some tips what to check in your vehicle before driving during the winter:

  1. ignition system
  2. fuel system
  3. brakes
  4. exhaust system
  5. wiper blades
  6. snow tires
  7. tire tread
  8. defroster
  9. proper grade oil
  10. cooling system
  11. battery
  12. lights
  13. antifreeze

Finally, here are a list of items to store in your vehicle in case of winter emergencies. Especially if you are driving long distances:

  1. or 3 pound coffee can (punch 3 holes at the top of can, equal distance apart)
  2. 60-inch length of twine or heavy string (cut into 3 equal pieces – used to suspend can)
  3. 3 large safety pins (tie string to safety pins and pin to car roof interior to suspend can over candle)
  4. 1 candle 2″ diameter (place on lid under suspended can for melting snow)
  5. 1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors)
  6. 3 pieces of bright cloth 2″ wide x 36″ long (tie to antenna or door handle)
  7. Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition)
  8. 1 small package of peanuts (provides protein) & fruit-flavored candy (orange slices, jelly beans, etc.-avoid chocolate)
  9. 1 pair of athletic socks (cotton) and 1 pair of glove liners (cotton)
  10. 2 packages of book matches
  11. 1 sun shield blanket or 2 large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat)
  12. 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate)

Be careful the rest of this winter season and remember if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Georgia Man Ticketed For Eating Hamburger & Driving

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that a Georgia man was given a traffic citation for driving and eating a hamburger. More specifically, the officer cited the driver for:  “exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

It does not appear that there is a specific law against eating and driving in Georgia but the officer followed the man for two (2) miles and concluded that he was driving erratically enough that he deserved a ticket.

I did some research and there is no law in Illinois that forbids eating and driving. The Illinois State Police’s website does caution against eating and driving as ways to avoid distracted driving. Their website states: “Stop to eat or drink. Drive-through windows and giant cup holders make it tempting to have a meal while driving, but you’re safer when you stop to eat or drink. If you can’t avoid eating while driving, try to avoid messy foods.”

This may appear as a funny news bit but I believe eating and driving can be just as distracting as texting or using your phone while driving. All it takes is a second or two of not paying attention that can cause a driver to lose control and swerve into another lane or rear-end a fellow driver. This is especially true for messier foods. I agree with the State Police. Put the food down and wait until you can park somewhere to finish your meal.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police To Enforce Operation Kyle In Honor Of Fallen Trooper

The life and work of a state trooper
is a tough job. Every time a trooper stops a driver for a traffic violation or
investigates an auto accident scene, they are confronted with the dangers of
other drivers and of course confronting the unknown when approaching a car
window. The Illinois State Police lost one if its own on November 26, 2012 when
trooper Kyle Deatherage was struck by a passing truck during a routine traffic
stop. The Belleville News Democrat reported last month that in
honor of Trooper Deatherage’s death, the State Police would launch operation
Kyle during a 24 hour period throughout the state. 

 “Starting at
midnight the morning of (November) 26, for 24-hours straight, we’re going to
have troopers from all throughout the state enforcing traffic laws, looking for
impaired drivers,” said Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye, Jr. “It’s
dedicated to Trooper Deatherage and his family.”  Troopers hope the
enforcement will serve as a reminder to motorists to slow down and pull over if
they see an emergency vehicle.

“There is no greater tribute than the commitment of all
sworn officers showing their respect, dedication and commitment to Kyle and the
safety of every driver and passenger during this 24-hour period,” said
Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “His life was tragically taken
from his family and police family two days before Thanksgiving and Operation
Kyle will be a strong reminder to the motoring public that safe driving saves

“Our number one goal during this 24-hour enforcement
period and through the holiday season is to raise awareness and reduce the
number of fatalities on Illinois roads and highways,” said Illinois State
Police Division of Operations Col. Michael Zerbonia. “Sobriety checkpoints
will also be enforced and DUI violators risk arrest and severe penalties.”

Remember to drive safely throughout the holidays and be wary
of troopers and other who have been pulled over. Traffic is heavy this time of
year and the roads can be slick. Everyone can do their part to try and avoid
car accidents while on the highway.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney,
Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.