Go Slow in Snow: Troopers ready to enforce new laws

MARQUETTE –The Michigan State Police is cautioning motorists to slow down in winter weather, after several MSP patrol cars have been struck while in response to other accidents, according to a news release.

From Jan. 26 to present, nine MSP patrol vehicles that were policing crashes with their emergency lights activated have been struck by motorists. None of the troopers involved these secondary crashes has been seriously injured, the release states.

“Driving too fast for conditions is the number one cause of crashes in winter weather,” Capt. John Haipin, MSP Eighth District Headquarters in Marquette is quoted as saying in the release. “For your safety, and ours, please slow down, increase your driving distance and give our first responders plenty of room to do their jobs.”

The MSP reminds motorists that even during inclement weather, drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times.

Additionally, Michigan’s Emergency Vehicle Caution Law, which went into effect in 2001, requires that when drivers see a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck pulled over with its flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights on, passing motorists must move over at least one lane or two vehicle widths, if it is safe to do so. If moving over is not possible, motorists must slow down and pass with caution.

An amendment to this law that takes effect on Feb. 13 will require all motorists to reduce their speed to at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated.