Imagine that you are driving down the road, obeying the speed limit, staying in the right lane because traffic is slower there and generally being as safe as you can be. Then imagine that you get pulled over for driving in that right lane and finding out that you can lose your Illinois driver’s license and be fined up to $10,000.
Well, that’s what happens to people every day who get pulled over for a Scott’s Law violation.
This well intentioned law was created to protect emergency responders pulled over on the side of the road. Years ago an officer was killed while doing his job. So the law states that if you see a police car, ambulance or any other emergency vehicle on the shoulder of the road, you have to slow down and/or move to the neighboring lane.
It’s a great law in theory, but the way it really works is shady and kind of a money grab. The police will typically pull over to the side of the road with their lights not flashing. A couple hundred yards ahead will sit another cop car on the side of the road. The first car will radio to the 2nd as to who didn’t get over, even though no danger was created. The 2nd car will ticket people all day and most of them will be stunned, especially when they find out about the possible punishment even with their clean driving record.
The most common comment that I hear is that “I didn’t even know that this law existed.” Regrettably that’s not a basis for getting out of the ticket.
The punishment can be really harsh. Certainly it’s justified if you cause an accident or even if you see an officer pulled over with their lights on while stopping another vehicle. But when a car is just sitting there, it reeks of entrapment.
If this does happen to you, it’s imperative that you get a lawyer to defend you. You simply have too much at stake to go at it alone (as compared to a minor speeding ticket that you can usually handle yourself).
If you need help with a Scott’s law ticket or have any questions, please contact us at any time.
Written by Michael Helfand