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Felonies proposed for Scott’s Law violations

Monday, Apr 1, 2019

* From Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly…

On this day in 1922, eight officers on motorcycles under the direction of John Stack, began patrolling the highways of Illinois as the official Illinois State Police. Initially, their mission was to protect Illinois roadways by enforcing weight laws. Today the mission and services of the Department have grown, as well as the number of people employed to accomplish them. The ISP is comprised of over 2,600 sworn and civilian employees. The Agency’s primary mission is to provide safety and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Illinois by offering a multitude of services represented in each of the various divisions within the Department. These services include, but are not limited to, patrol enforcement and public assistance, drug interdiction, criminal investigations, forensic analysis, tactical operations, polygraph services, law enforcement training and recruitment, and administrative support for all entities within the Department. Many of these services are also provided to municipal, county and federal law enforcement agencies.

As a way to honor the dedicated men and woman of the ISP, April 1 of each year is designated Illinois State Trooper Day. This day shall be observed annually throughout the state to pay tribute to those who serve and protect our citizens and especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It is imperative that of all years, today we stop to extend our gratitude and honor the dedication, commitment, and sacrifices of the great men and women of the ISP. While our department is in mourning over the recent, untimely tragedies that have occurred in 2019, we are also united in our devotion to always remember our fallen brothers and sisters and the ultimate price they paid to protect others. In 97 years, 69 men and women of the ISP bravely put on their uniform to serve the citizens of this state and never returned home. I am asking the public to consider these men and women today and all those who bravely wear their badge or shield so they may protect others. Through our struggle, we find strength. Through our sadness, we find hope. Through our darkness, we find a bright light from those courageous souls shining down.”

* From current state statutes (Scott’s Law) regarding the failure to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles on the roadside…

If a violation of subsection (c) of this Section results in injury to another person. In addition to any other penalty imposed, the person’s driving privileges shall be suspended for a fixed period of not less than 180 days and not more than 2 years.

House Amendment 1 to HB1875 crosses out that language and replaces it with a Class 3 felony and a mandatory 5-year license suspension.

A violation resulting in death would be a Class 2 felony and permanent revocation of the drivers’ license, instead of a 2-year suspension (plus, of course, anything else prosecutors charge).

A simple violation would be a Class 4 felony instead of a business offense.

The amendment was introduced today by Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park).

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Just Observing - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    I don’t think stiffer penalties will address the issue — more education will.


  2. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    There comes a time when a greater emphasis must be placed on one of the 5 E’s of safety and health. You can Educate. You can Encourage. You can Engineer. But at some point Enforcement may need to come to the fore, and then you Evaluate the efficacy of the 4 E’s above in combination. For some people it takes the “big stick” to get them to change and wake up to the fact that driving is a privilege, not a right.


  3. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    The class 4 Felony provision for a non contact offense is out of synch for other offenses. A second DUI is a class A misdemeanor.


  4. - lakeside - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Agree with JO. People who don’t move over aren’t thinking, “wow, with this now a Class 3 felony, etc., etc., I really better change lanes.” A penalty is trying to replace an education campaign.


  5. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Very tragic. action needed
    Of course we “suspend” GOPie “small govt/no regs” mumbo jumbo so they can spring into action


  6. - Captain Obvious - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    I say yes. And I would have no problem with that second DUI being punished equally as well.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    I think penalties for a death consistent with a reckless homicide charge are appropriate. I would also suggest a signage campaign at all major border crossings into the state, at all rest areas, and on all electronic message boards.


  8. - Former Merit Comp - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    Yup. Do it now and thanks to Cabello for introducing it. This needs to stop.


  9. - What's in a name? - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    I don’t have a huge objection to increased penalties but I think education is more important. i also wonder what the data is on who is the typical violator. If you went through driver’s ed before the law you may not have a good understanding of what to do. Some public service messages might help. Explaining that the obligation to move over is based on being able to do so safely. Minimally, the drive needs to slow down and move away from the emergency vehicle to the extent possible.

    I think site distance is also an issue. If you observe some of the big rigs tailgating each other the trailing driver may not be able to see far enough ahead to make a safe move.

    The political folks will do their thing here but it really seems like the issue is worth real study.


  10. - Anon - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    Knee. Jerk.


  11. - illini - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    I really do not care if it is a “D” or “R” that is proposing these harsher penalties. This is not about politics or gaining some kind of political advantage - it is about doing what is right.

    And, personally, I am not sure that these enhanced “penalties” go far enough.


  12. - Generic Drone - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    No. Educate before charge with a felony.


  13. - Al - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    55 saves lives


  14. - PP - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    Knee jerk reaction - more education is needed not stiffer penalties.


  15. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    I’m upset too but stiffening the penalty to a class 3 felony will not be a deterrent. These folks that never pull over are the same folks who won’t even be aware of the change in the law. They don’t watch the news, read the paper or follow Capital Fax.


  16. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==more education is needed==

    You can’t educate people with no common sense.

    == not stiffer penalties==

    Tell that the families of the officers.


  17. - Chicagonk - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    I think ISP needs to be looking at ways to reduce the possibility of these tragedies as well. There has to be something that ISP can do to make it a safer work environment.


  18. - Eddy - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    Amen.


  19. - The Dude - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Administrative controls- pull people over at next exit or provide a trail vehicle on higher traffic areas.


  20. - Lucky than Good - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 5:06 pm:

    I agree with Ron Burgundy. But I don’t think a first time simple offense should be a felony. Save the class 4 felony for subsequent offenses.


  21. - Mama - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 5:16 pm:

    Drivers Education classes need to drill the kids multiple times on Scott’s Law.


  22. - Winderweezle - Monday, Apr 1, 19 @ 9:06 pm:

    The trouble with enhanced penalties is the more severe they become, the less willing judges are to impose them.

    I think we are missing a key point of emphasis with education. I think we should be teaching people to move over sooner- if you have ever been on the side of the interstate you see what happens: there is an accordion effect with traffic in the right lane trying to move over. The first semi moves over a reasonable distance from the scene. The second semi, who is too close to the first one, now can see the lights. He moves over but is closer to the scene. Now the third semi can see the scene but he has to get moved over quick. Now all traffic behind him can see but it’s pretty late to get moved over and they can only slow down. If there is a distracted driver in that group, he doesn’t have as long to see the scene before being on top of it.

    This accordion effect is also related to following too close.

    I hope I adequately described this.


  23. - Quicksand - Tuesday, Apr 2, 19 @ 5:23 am:

    Over-reaction. How many accidents are caused via lane changes? Education is key.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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