Michigan, just like much of the rest of the country, has move over laws where motorists are required to either slow down or change lanes (sometimes both) whenever they are passing any stopped emergency vehicles with their lights flashing.
However, just recently, a new law was signed by Governor Rick Snyder which would provide stricter guidelines to the existing move over law. Prior to the law passing, motorists were only advised to proceed with caution or move over if possible.
Now, motorists are required to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit. As well, this new law would apply to many other types of service vehicles that utilize lights including tow trucks and construction vehicles. If they are flashing, it applies. On the other hand, it doesn’t specify as to which speed limits the law pertains to (i.e., work zones, passenger car speed limits, heavy truck speed limits, etc.).
Even more, this new law replaces some of the other penalties that motorists would face for violating the law. Now, violators can expect to receive a $400 fine while points of their license would decrease from 4 points to 2 points.
What They Say
As expected, this new law is designed to better protect emergency workers and first responders who are helping motorists on the side of busy roadways as Governor Snyder states. However, James Walker, a board member from Wisconsin for the National Motorists Association has a differing opinion that could perhaps cause more crashes and accidents on the road.
“SB 477 is a really bad bill that will cause crashes by putting some vehicles suddenly in the left lane of freeways with a 20+ mph speed differential to other vehicles that are already one to almost two lanes away from a vehicle on the far right shoulder and have no safety reason to slow down to 10 mph below the limit. The changes in the fines to $400 make it absolutely ripe to be used as for-profit sting operations that have nothing to do with safety.”
Even more, Senator Zorn believes that the new law would act as a serious deterrent for those driving around emergency vehicles especially with that $400 potential fine looming over their heads.
Seek Out A Competent Car Accident Lawyer
With this upgraded edition to the already current move over law in place, hopefully less emergency workers will be put at risk when helping motorists in need. However, we also hope that Walker’s foreshadowing of the downsides of the law don’t come into fruition. But if they do, you need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who isn’t intimidated by the Michigan court system and who will fight for your needs til the very end –– even when your life seems to be turned upside down. Don’t hesitate and give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.