Let me paint a picture for you. You're cruising down the road, your favorite radio station is playing (aww it's us? We know. Thanks.), and you see a police officer pulled over some sorry sucker on the side of the road in front of you. So you begin to merge into the lane on your left to give the officer space, however, the person behind you continues going straight ahead and blows past that officer while they are speaking to the car they pulled over.


There is a glaring blemish in this painting, and it is one that the Michigan State Police is actively working to remind drivers about.


Police units responds to the scene of an emergency.
Matt Gush


The Move Over Law

State trooper Joel Popp was recently struck and killed while performing a traffic stop in Saginaw County. The tragic event has spurred a renewed effort by the State Police to remind people of the Move-Over Law. The Move-Over Law, created in 2018, requires that:

"Motorists slow down and move over for stationary authorized vehicles with flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights activated."


The law specifically mentions police, fire, rescue, ambulance, and road service vehicles like tow trucks all as vehicles drivers must slow down and avoid when they are present on the side of the road.

Sarah Clark, Townsquare Media
Sarah Clark, Townsquare Media

What To Expect If You Break This Rule

Any driver who is caught breaking this rule will receive a fine of 400 dollars and two points on their license. To put this into perspective, 4 and 8 points on a license result in warnings from the Secretary of State, while 12 points result in a suspended license. This is a very easily avoidable offense and one that saves lives. To learn more about how license points are equated, you can learn here.


However, points on a license are the least of anyone's concerns. In addition to points, if you were to injure or kill one of the officials listed above, your penalty would rise drastically. Drivers risk a "felony charge of 15 years and/or a $7,500 fine" for killing an officer in this way, or "2 years in prison and/or a $1000 fine" for injuring an officer. The cost to your life and the officer's life is VERY easily avoidable.


Do the right thing. When you see flashing lights ahead, merge away from the lights and slow down.


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