The early months of 2019 have been some of the coldest on record for many states across our nation, and Michigan is no exception. Over a dozen Michigan State Police vehicles so far have already been struck while out on patrol due to drivers affected by inclement weather, leaving some officers injured and others hospitalized. In light of these rising catastrophes, Gov. Rick Snyder’s new state law amending the Emergency Vehicle Caution Law is now in effect as of February 13th. As a driver you might be wondering, what exactly does this mean for you?
This amendment will require all drivers to now “move to a new lane when passing an authorized vehicle.” The goal of this stipulation is to prevent unintended accidents and/or collisions by ensuring adequate distance is kept between stopped vehicles and oncoming motorists. It will also prevent unfortunate incidents involving unseen persons becoming victims of direct hits while traversing along busy roadways.
The new law will also require all drivers to reduce their speed to at least “10 mph below the posted speed limit” when passing an authorized vehicle. The idea behind this stipulation is that once drivers are able to safely reduce their speed, they will be able to maintain greater control over their vehicles and ensure vehicular stability even in the event something unexpected happens that would otherwise cause a rapid or unsafe reaction.
What Is An Authorized Vehicle?
According to Senate Bill 0447, “authorized vehicles include solid waste collection trucks, utility, road vehicles as well as first responders.” However, to prevent any accidents at all from happening, and make sure everyone stays safe, you should always keep an eye out for shouldered vehicles, and slow down and/or move over when you see any person or vehicle stopped on the side of the road – whether it’s an authorized vehicle or not.
Punishment For Non-Compliance
Failing to move over and sufficiently slow down when passing an authorized vehicle is an enforceable civil offense punishable by up to $400 in fines.
If you want to know more about this or any other important Michigan laws you should be aware of, or if you’re simply interested in retaining the services of some of Michigan’s most revered legal specialists, we urge you to reach out to us at Harris Law as soon as possible. From minor traffic violations, to serious criminal charges, our attorneys at Harris Law have your back and can handle whatever case you throw at us! Call 231.347.4444 or fill out the free consultation form in the sidebar to schedule your free personal consultation.