Sen. Rachelle Crowe

SPRINGFIELD – A measure to prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, co-sponsored by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon), was signed into law this week.

“This initiative’s purpose is to encourage drivers to slow down and move over whenever any vehicle is stalled on the side of the road,” Crowe said. “Our first responders are losing their lives because of carelessness, and we can’t tolerate it.”

This year, Troopers Christopher Lambert, Brooke Jones-Story and Gerald Ellis were killed in the line of duty when vehicles hit them while their 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
  • 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.