This is by the numbers.
Eight is the number of Michigan State Police Brighton Post Cruisers that have been damaged in patrol accidents since December. These vehicles were fully marked with lights and emergency equipment activated.
Seven of these accidents could have been prevented if the driver had changed lanes and given room for the emergency vehicle.
Six of these incidents occurred in unfavorable weather conditions.
Five of the accidents resulted in the rear bumper and back end of the cruisers having to be replaced.
Four phone calls had to be made to spouses to let them know their Trooper was alright and would be home soon.
Three times the same Sargent at our post had to file a report for a vehicle accident involving Troopers.
Two, one Trooper was involved twice in a rear end collision.
One, one good reason to move over and slow down.
Michigan Vehicle Code 257.653a states in part the following, “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 two 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 two vehicle widths apart from the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, unless directed otherwise by a police officer. If movement to an adjacent lane or tow 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 two 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 two 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.
A person who violates this can be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable up to 90 days in jail and a $500 dollar fine. A person who causes injury can be punished up to a 1 year in prison and $1,000 dollar fine. A person who causes death can be punished up to 15 years in prison and 7,500 dollar fine.”
The bottom line is if you see emergency lights give the emergency responder room to work. The Troopers involved were stopped and policing accidents. The last number I’ll throw at you is this, ZERO, zero Troopers were out of their vehicles when they were struck. The injuries were thankfully minor, but imagine though if they weren’t in their vehicles, this might have been an entirely different article.
If you have a questions or comments please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police – Brighton Post, 4337 Buno Road, Brighton, MI 48116.