Don’t endanger rescue workers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Admittedly, until staff writer Barbara Allen’s story in today’s paper (see Page 2), we had never heard of &uot;Scott’s Law.&uot;

This was apparently named after a Chicago firefighter, Scott Gillen, who was hit and killed by the actions of a drunk driver.

The bill raises the penalties for drivers that won’t yield to emergencies or cause accidents to rescue personnel. In Virginia, this reportedly passed without any opposition. That’s fine, but we did wonder if there has not been a similar law already in place. If not, why? If so, why another law? But that’s a topic for another time, perhaps.

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Meanwhile, Suffolk residents in particular will do well to become more alert as they drive. Sirens can’t always compete if your car stereo is blaring. You know you are, don’t you?

Further, when you pass an accident, be certain to slow down not to look (ghouls), but to prevent the possibility of becoming an added attraction to the scene.

According to Scott’s Law, if you fail to yield right of way for an emergency vehicle, that’s a violation. If this results in an injury, then the driver’s license may be suspended. The monetary cost and loss of license (not to mention possible jail time) are trivial compared to the cost of your causing someone’s death – especially if it’s a police or rescue official. Nonetheless, the $10,000 is not always laying around.