While the rules are put into place to protect us and others on the roads around us, some may be a bit difficult to understand. For example, did you know that you can’t always turn right on a red? How about yellow lights, do you know that state law mandates that if you are coming upon a yellow light and can stop, you must?
While most traffic laws make sense, that doesn’t mean that you know them all. One example of a lesser-known but certainly valid Michigan traffic law relates to Michigan’s emergency vehicles. In Michigan, if you see a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights flashing on any public roadway with at least two adjacent lanes going in the same direction, by law, you are required to move over if possible. Obviously this does not include side-swiping another vehicle however, if you can, you must. This includes on our highways. If you do not move over and maintain a safe speed, you may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $500 and even go to jail for up to 90 days.
Another lesser-known Michigan motor vehicle law again relates directly to highway driving and the left lane. Did you know, Michigan has a “Keep Right, Pass Left” law? Did you know if you are found guilty of “cruising in the left lane”, you could be cited and fined?
It’s a fact. Michigan is only one of many states who have and enforce this law. As the law specifically states, passing is to take place on the left, keeping driver’s cruising in the right lane and helping to control the flow of traffic. These laws were enacted to prevent drivers who are passing other drivers, from weaving in and out of traffic and causing accidents.
The exact law reads as follows:
Section 257.634 Driving on right half of roadway; exceptions; driving on roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction; traveling on freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in same direction; ordinance regulating same subject matter prohibited; violation as civil infraction.
Upon a roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle in the extreme right-hand lane available for travel except as otherwise provided in this section. However, the driver of a vehicle may drive the vehicle in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel when the lanes are occupied by vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic and in any left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel for a reasonable distance before making a left turn.
(3) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a vehicle traveling in the appropriate direction from traveling in any lane of a freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in the same direction. However, a city, village, township, or county may not enact an ordinance which regulates the same subject matter as any provision of this subsection. The driver of a truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, a truck tractor, or a combination of a vehicle and trailer or semitrailer shall drive the vehicle or combination of vehicles only in either of the 2 lanes farthest to the right, except for a reasonable distance when making a left turn or where a special hazard exists that requires the use of an alternative lane for safety reasons.
(4) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.
Whether you agree with these laws or not, the fact remains, if you are found guilty of these or other infractions, you may find yourself paying the cost.
Bailey–Quick Law is a Michigan attorney serving clients throughout Northern Michigan.