Some car accidents are unavoidable or beyond our control. Many others are due to driver negligence, and those are the incidents that bring up important legal issues, especially when injuries or damage occur as the result of an accident. Any number of actions can be considered negligent; speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, and distracted driving can all be used to prove evidence of negligence behind the wheel. In light of recent crashes having tragic results, Illinois law enforcement and emergency responders are emphasizing the importance of abiding by traffic laws that are aimed at curbing negligent driving.
Scott's Law and Move Over Laws
A recent article highlighted the fatal accidents on Illinois roadways over the last few years, and called for attention to traffic laws already in place that motorists need to follow in order to avoid such tragic outcomes. A driver was convicted of reckless homicide and could face up to 14 years of incarceration for an truck accident that led to the death of a firefighter in March of 2013. The crash occurred when the truck driver hit the firefighter and a number of emergency vehicles that were parked along a median when working at the scene of an earlier accident on Interstate 39 in Illinois.
The accident happened 12 years after Scott's Law went into effect, which requires motorists to be aware of their surroundings and pay close attention to their speed. The "move over" law was also in effect at the time of the accident, which states that drivers are required to yield to accident scenes and flashing lights when traveling on the roadways, and must move over into other lanes when possible to avoid driving past the scene. The laws are not optional; they are mandatory for drivers to follow and, if drivers choose not to abide, the effects can be devastating.
Similar Accidents Are Not Uncommon
Scott's law is named after a Chicago Fire Lieutenant who was killed by a drunk driver while at the scene of another accident. The law's namesake is far from the only instance of a law enforcement officer or emergency worker being killed in an accident while fulfilling their duties, however. In just the last few years, several other firefighters, police officers, and state troopers have been killed or injured in similar circumstances.
These cases stress the need for drivers to take heed and take seriously the traffic laws of Illinois. If the laws were followed, car accidents involving the death or injury of public safety workers responding to the scene would at the very least be decreased significantly.
Legal AssistanceAs the stories above indicate, driver negligence often has disastrous results. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, you may have important legal rights to protect. Contact the experienced accident attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kendall, and Will Counties, as well as surrounding communities.
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