Thursday, December 21, 2006

Driving in Illinois


Most drivers, when passing an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road, probably shift to the other lane or slow down because of courtesy or common-sense safety. In Illinois, it's the law, and, according to an article in today's Southern Illinoisan, state police are starting to crack down on violators.

On a typical four-lane highway, a driver "approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing ... warning lights" is required to "yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions" or "reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe." 625 ILCS 5/11-907(c).

Illinois law also requires drivers to "yield the right of way to any authorized vehicle or pedestrian [working in a] highway construction or maintenance area," and to change lanes or reduce their speed when "entering a construction or maintenance zone when workers are present." 625 ILCS 5/11-908(a) and (a-1).

Sections 11-907 and 11-908 are exceptions to the general rule in Illinois that "[u]pon an Interstate highway or fully access controlled freeway, a vehicle may not be driven in the left lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle." 625 ILCS 5/11-701(d) and (e).

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