MCHENRY COUNTY "SCOTT'S LAW" DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Named after Chicago Fire Department's late Lt. Scott Gillen, 625 ILCS 5/11-907 is aimed at providing emergency responders with additional protection from traffic. Lt. Gillen was struck and killed by a driver while he was standing on the side of the road rendering assistance to another motorist. Incidents such as this have been happening more and more frequently because of cell phones and disctracted drivers.
Unfortunately, some police departments have taken things a bit to far and, despite the best of intentions, been issuing citations for improperly passing an emergency vehicle a bit to aggressively. While most would argue that officer safety is important, so are the rights of a driver. The fines and severity of these offenses have been increasing by the year and there is no sign of it slowing down. With steep penalties and implications on a driver's record, hiring a defense attorney is cheap insurance.
Evan E. Randall has been defending drivers against these charges for years and has a proven track record of success to show for it.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW
Most commonly, drivers are charged with violating subsection (c) of the statute. This subsection states what must be done when a driver approaches an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road.
If emergency lights are activated, the driver must do either of the following:
- If on a road with two lanes of traffic in the direction of travel, the driver must move the vehicle into the lane furthest from the emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so; OR
- Procede with caution and reduce speed.
First and foremost, the driver should attempt to move into the lane furthest from the emergency vehicle. This should be done if it is safe to do so; the driver isn't required to make any unsafe movement.
If traffic conditions do not allow it, then the driver should slow down, maintain a safe speed, and proceed with due caution.
DEFENDING AGAINST IMPROPER PASSING OF EMERGENCY VEHICLE CHARGES
The first step in defending against a "Scott's Law" citation is to obtain a copy of the police officer's dhas camera footage. Only then can it be known if the lights were activated, if traffic conditions permitted the driver to move over, or if there are any other defenses available to the driver.
Most video footage for petty offenses is not preserved unless the police department receives notice that they are to keep the footage. Department policies vary, but most write over footage after 28 days. It is important to retain a defense attorney who knows these policies and preserves the video.
Evan E. Randall has defended against many Improper Passing of an Emergency Vehicle charges in McHenry County. The officer's take these offenses seriously because they involve officer safety. Drivers need an equally aggressive defense attorney who will hold the State's Attorney to their burden of proof.
Related Articles: Scott's Law - Penalties, Fines and Defenses