Any typical driver in Illinois has experienced their share of construction on many roadways or highways in their lifetime, and has therefore driven past numerous tow trucks, signs with flashing lights, traffic cones, and emergency vehicle personnel assisting authorities at construction scenes. While many drivers cautiously and attentively drive past these construction scenes, others fail to do so and as a result cause a significant amount of damage and personal injury to vehicles or individuals working at the scene. This fact is something that our Illinois truck accident lawyers believe needs to be addressed and wants to inform all drivers of the current issues at hand.
Chicagotribune.com recently released a report detailing the death of a 20-year old tow truck driver who was killed by a passing motorist as he was assisting someone on an interstate. The driver that hit him allegedly failed to pay attention to the flashing lights and emergency vehicles on the side of the road and thus struck and killed the truck driver. After learning about this accident, an owner of a transportation service in Barrington, Illinois wanted to remind drivers to “move over and slow down” when they see a tow truck with flashing lights along the side of the road. The owner states that most people don’t recognize tow truck operators as emergency vehicles and fail to take the necessary precautions when they pass by them on roads or highways.
Illinois has had a law in place for ten years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from reckless drivers. The legislation, details the report, was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the roads, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police, fire, ambulance, highway workers and tow truck drivers. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights.
“I want to make people aware of this law, no matter where they drive,” the service owner stated. “If they’re here in Illinois or in any other state, to move over and slow down for any vehicle they see with flashing lights at the side of the road…Tow truck drivers are on the highway more than anyone else, and no one wants to get a call that their loved one was killed when they were trying to help someone out,” he said.
Our law firm agrees it is crucial that this law is followed for the safety of tow truck drivers, emergency personnel, and even other motorists and pedestrians on Illinois roadways. Unfortunately, negligent drivers do exist, and a number of individuals are injured or somehow affected by accidents caused by these drivers every year. Our attorneys are very familiar with Illinois trucking laws and have represented many individuals and families in trucking accident lawsuits consisting of issues similar to those described above.
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of the trucking accident, we are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Contact us for more information.