Move Over Michigan

Questions and Answers from the Michigan Department of Transportation

Q: If I am on a two-lane road and see a police car on the shoulder and a car traveling in the opposite direction, what am I supposed to do?
A: When only one lane is available for travel in each direction, you must slow down and pass with caution, giving the emergency vehicle as much room as possible.

Q: Do I have to move over for a wrecker?
A: Yes. Under a change effective June 2, 2004, road service vehicles, including wreckers, are considered to be emergency vehicles for the purpose of this law only.

Q: What vehicles are considered to be emergency vehicles under this law?
A: Police, fire, rescue, ambulance, and road service vehicles. Road service vehicles include wreckers and courtesy vehicles operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Q: If I see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its emergency lights off, do I have to move over?
A: No. You do not have to move over if the emergency vehicle does not have its emergency lights activated. However, you should always pass with caution, giving the emergency vehicle as much room as possible.

A person found responsible for violating this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to enhanced penalties of up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine if the violation causes injury or death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel.

   Michigan: Move Over Law



257.653 a Stationary emergency vehicle giving visual signal; duty of approaching vehicle to exhibit due care and caution; violation; penalty.

Sec. 653a.

(1) Upon approaching and passing a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is giving a visual signal by means of flashing, rotating, or oscillating red, blue, or white lights as permitted by section 698, the driver of an approaching vehicle shall exhibit due care and caution, as required under the following:

(a) On any public roadway with at least 2 adjacent lanes proceeding in the same direction of the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, the driver of the approaching vehicle shall proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane at least 1 moving lane or 2 vehicle widths apart from the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, unless directed otherwise by a police officer. If movement to an adjacent lane or 2 vehicle widths apart is not possible due to weather, road conditions, or the immediate presence of vehicular or pedestrian traffic in parallel moving lanes, the driver of the approaching vehicle shall proceed as required in subdivision (b).

(b) On any public roadway that does not have at least 2 adjacent lanes proceeding in the same direction as the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, or if the movement by the driver of the vehicle into an adjacent lane or 2 vehicle widths apart is not possible as described in subdivision (a), the approaching vehicle shall reduce and maintain a safe speed for weather, road conditions, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic and proceed with due care and caution, or as directed by a police officer.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), a person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.

(3) A person who violates this section and causes injury to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel in the immediate area of the stationary authorized emergency vehicle is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

(4) A person who violates this section and causes death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel in the immediate area of the stationary authorized emergency vehicle is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $7,500.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 years, or both.

•  The operator of a vehicle traveling on a roadway which only has one lane of travel for each direction shall, upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, slow down and pass with caution, allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

On  Roads  With  One  Lane  of Travel  for Each  Direction
On  Roads  With  Two  or More  Lanes  of Travel  in the  Same  Direction

•  The operator of a vehicle traveling on a highway designed with two or more lanes of travel in the same direction shall, upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, carefully move into an open lane at least one lane away from the emergency vehicle.
If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, the operator shall slow down and pass with caution, allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

The  Penalty

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