August 11, 2016
An accident in late July in Southfield, MI highlighted the importance of the state’s Emergency Vehicle Caution Law, also known as the Move Over Law, just days after the Michigan State Police held a news conference about it. A state trooper was severely injured when a construction vehicle ran into his cruiser, where he was sitting after pulling over to the roadside. The trooper was taken to the hospital with non-fatal but serious injuries from which he is expected to recover. The police are still investigating what exactly happened that caused the driver of the construction vehicle to smash into the trooper’s car.
The Move Over Law was originally enacted in 2001 and amended in 2004. Its aim is to protect Michigan’s emergency first responders including policemen, firemen, rescue crews, ambulance workers, and tow truck and other courtesy vehicle operators from accidents caused by civilian drivers. The law states that drivers have to either move over a lane for stopped emergency vehicles with their lights on or slow down significantly when passing. After state trooper Drew Spencer was seriously injured when a car hit him while he was on duty, he managed to make a full recovery and return to work, and then he chose to share his story during the statewide campaign that introduced the Move Over Law to the public. He wanted to make it clear that following the law can mean the difference between life and death.
Any driver who fails to abide by the law can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and may be either imprisoned or fined thousands of dollars if their actions cause injury or death. For more information on Michigan’s Move Over Law, including an FAQ, check out this brochure.