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Move Over violation fine raised to $400 (MI)

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Michigan drivers who do not move over and slow down when passing emergency, maintenance and utility vehicles will now face a $400 fine under a new law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday. 

“This legislation will better protect those responding to emergencies as well as workers on busy roadways,” Snyder said in a statement. “My hope by signing this bill is that more Michiganders will slow down and give a lane.”

The new law requires drivers to not only move over a lane, if possible, but to also slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit. That requirement is for when passing police, emergency vehicles, tow trucks, garbage trucks, maintenance and utility vehicles that have amber flashing lights.

The law will go into effect in mid-February. It replaces the current law that requires drivers to move over when passing a stopped emergency vehicle — police, fire or tow truck — or to proceed with caution when moving over is impossible. That law levied a $150 fine. 

Local officials urged motorists to pay attention to the Move Over law following the death of Preferred Towing's Jason Schultz on Jan. 15 2016. 

Schultz, 28, of Clyde Township died after being hit by a vehicle while working to tow a vehicle out of a ditch on North Road. 

Hundreds of tow trucks and emergency vehicles attended his funeral, with the procession to the cemetery covered miles. 

Trent Sheldon, now 20, pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated causing death. He was sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison in April 2016. Officials have said Sheldon used marijuana prior to driving the morning of the crash. 

In February, a Michigan State Police trooper was injured when his vehicle was struck by a pickup on the side of Interstate 94 near St. Clair Highway. 

St. Clair County Undersheriff Tom Buckley said they see drivers failing to move over, "unfortunately, extremely often." 

He said deputies are encouraged to ticket people for doing so. 

"I'd rather deal with a barricaded gunman then direct traffic on an open roadway ... It's really dangerous being on that roadway, especially when you talk about the freeway and high speeds, it only takes a second for someone to get hit and seriously, seriously injured, if not killed," Buckley said. 

He asked drivers be alert and give first responders and others a fighting chance. 

"There have been a lot of close calls, I think it's a lot of luck that we haven't had people hit and killed or seriously injured." 

 

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