The amended “Move Over or Slow Down” law took effect on Feb. 13. One requirement is for drivers to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move to a new lane when approaching certain stationary vehicles.

The amended “Move Over or Slow Down” law took effect on Feb. 13. One requirement is for drivers to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move to a new lane when approaching certain stationary vehicles.

Photo provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Michigan’s ‘move over law’ now in effect

Requires drivers to slow down when approaching certain stationary vehicles

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 25, 2019

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LANSING — An amended state law is now in effect.

The Stationary Authorized Emergency Vehicles Public Act took effect Feb. 13 and is aimed at putting a stop to collisions that occur on the side of the road when an authorized vehicle is pulled over.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page states it is not a new law; rather, it has been amended to include more emergency vehicles.

The amended act requires drivers to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move to a new lane when approaching certain stationary vehicles with flashing, rotating or oscillating lights proceeding in the same direction.

“The law has been in effect for awhile, however was just recently amended to include more vehicles,” Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sgt. Renee Yax said. “The law says that you must move over for emergency vehicles on the side of the road.  If you cannot safely move over, then you must slow down.”  

Under the amended law, violations are punishable by a $400 ticket.

The law does not require moving over for an emergency vehicle without its lights on.

A Feb. 13 Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning tweet states that if folks “see police/fire/tow/emergency vehicles on the side of the road with their lights flashing, move over a lane if you can and slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit. If you don’t, it could cost you $400!” 

The law requires a driver to proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by moving to a lane that is at least one moving lane or two vehicle widths apart from the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, unless directed otherwise by a police officer.

Yax said that not only will the law keep deputies safe, it also keeps other emergency workers safe.

“Having a law that requires vehicles to slow down or move over protects deputies and other emergency workers by allowing them the space needed to do their job safely,” she said. “The shoulder does not provide any additional area, so that extra lane can provide the space needed to effectively get the job done.”

If violation of the law causes injury to a police officer, firefighter or other emergency response personnel in the immediate area of the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, the penalty is a felony with a maximum $1,000 fine or two years imprisonment, or both.

Yax added that the Sheriff’s Office has not had any issues with vehicles colliding with deputies on the side of the road in the past several years. 

The amended law can be viewed at legislature.mi.gov.

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