Abels & Annes

Work Zone Safety Week Kicks Off by Raising Awareness of Chicago Work Accidents

Chicago is teaming up with more than a dozen state agencies, road builders and unions to kick off Work Zone Safety Week. These safe work zone advocates gathered in Chicago to put Scott’s Law in the spotlight to help prevent Chicago work accidents, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers urge you to abide by the rules set forth by Scott’s Law, or the Move Over Law, to protect our road workers in construction areas and our emergency responders. Penalties for violating Scott’s Law can range from $100 to $10,000 and automatic license suspension.
714551_sign_1.jpg
Scott’s Law was enacted in 2002 after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was killed by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Since then, the Illinois State Police have issued nearly 19,000 citations to those who has failed to comply with the regulations, according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority.

“Every day, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel, and highway workers place their lives in jeopardy to protect the citizens of the state of Illinois. The most important thing we do is to ensure citizens return home safely to their families,” said Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent. “Scott’s Law helps these workers safely perform their duties so that they, too, can return home to their families each day.”

State Transportation Gary Hanning is urging drivers to proceed through these construction areas with a heightened sense of caution this spring. He urges motorists to obey the posted speed limits and to drive distraction-free without cell phone and other hand held devices.

The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 30 people were killed in work zone crashes last year. The transportation department reports the state is launching an $11.5 billion construction plan this year, that will include work on nearly 500 miles of road and 105 bridges this summer.

“Illinois State Police Troopers will strictly enforce work zone speed limits and the ‟move over„ law which requires motorists to slow down and, if possible, change lanes when approaching police, emergency or construction vehicles displaying flashing warning lights,” Interim Director Patrick Keen said. “We will also strictly enforce Distracted Driving laws which restrict the use of a cell phone in a construction zone and texting while driving.”

In the United States, motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause or work-related fatalities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 5,700 fatalities are reported annually, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Illinois State Police Department offers you these tips to help you get through work zones and out of the way of emergency-responder vehicles without potential injuries or fines:

-Reduce speed. Maintain a safe speed for road conditions and obey all posted speed limits. These speed limits have a tendency to change with the amount of construction and workers present so be aware of all official signs.

-Proceed with caution. Yield to the right-of-way when changing lanes.

-Remember that under Scott’s Law you are required to proceed with caution, change lanes if possible and reduce your speed in any driving scenario involving these construction workers or emergency responders.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an Illinois accident, contact the personal injury lawyers of Abels & Annes for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191.