Move Over Or Face The Consequences

On February 12, 2019 a Michigan State Police trooper was hit not once, but twice while stopped on southbound I-75 as he was attending to a disabled vehicle. The officer reported he had his lights on and was stopped in the left and center lanes. The officer was taken to the hospital with neck and back pains, according to a report by MLive.

Accidents like this are why Michigan and several other states have the Move Over Law. The Move Over Law, “requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.” However, the growing trend of stopped emergency vehicles getting hit by an oncoming driver in the next lane has clearly caused many collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities, which may be why Michigan has expanded the Move Over Law.

The expanded Move Over Law, which went into effect on February 13, 2019, protects emergency vehicles such as, police, fire, ambulance, rescue, road service, road maintenance, utility service, solid waste hauler, and tow trucks.

Expanded Move Over Law

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, carefully slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and fully move over into an open lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit, and pass with caution allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

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Drivers who fail to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles could end up with 2 points on their driver’s license and a fine of $400, according to the new law. Also, “a driver could face felony charges and face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine if the violation causes death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel.”

For the safety of everyone on the road, drivers should move over when they see a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on. Why pay fines and risk points on a license, when obeying the law is as simple as changing lanes?!


Changing lanes can be a lot like playing a game of chess; drivers must consider all of the pieces, or in this case, other vehicles in play. One missed blind spot or emergency vehicle and it could be checkmate and a car crash can occur. And remember, in the real world, there are no pawns to sacrifice on the road; every piece is a queen. The Michigan Law Firm, PC represents victims who have been injured in serious car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney.

Oakland County Deputy In Critical Condition After Being Hit By Car

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David Hack is an Oakland County Sheriff Deputy. On January 4, 2018, around 7:00 AM, according to the Detroit Free Press, Hack was policing an accident that had occurred in front of Rochester Adams High School, in Rochester Hill, Michigan. Deputy Hack was standing in front of his car when he was struck by a Ford Taurus driven by a 24-year-old college student who was on her way to Oakland University. David Hack was taken to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester Hills by the Rochester Fire Department.

According to Click On Detroit, since the car accident, David has opened his eyes three times. It was reported that he is still in critical condition and has not regained consciousness, but is now stable. Deputy Hack's family is staying hopeful and his wife believes that he is aware that his family's presence in the hospital room.

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Deputy Hack's car crash comes as yet another disheartening police car accident, since only six weeks ago, a Oakland County Sheriff Deputy passed away after he was also struck by a car on Thanksgiving day. The Detroit Free Press reported that Deputy Eric Overall, "had just deployed tire-deflating stop sticks on the southbound side of M-15 at Seymour Lake Road and was "well off the roadway" when the driver purposely swerved to hit him at about 12:30 a.m." 22-year-old Christopher Joseph Berak, the driver who hit Overall, has four prior convictions for marijuana possession and for resisting and obstructing police. 

While Oakland County and Michiganders may be surprised to hear about both of these police accidents, car crashes involving law enforcement officers are more common than most may think. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released statistics that found that 86 law enforcement officers were killed during in line-of-duty incidents in 2015. Of those 86 fatalities, 29 were police car crash deaths. 

While Deputy Overall's death was ruled a homicide, Deputy Hack's car crash was likely a non-intentional accident. While there is no surefire way to avoid causing a car accident, drivers would do well to always pay attention to their surroundings when operating a motor vehicle. For police car crashes in particular, one way to avoid car crashes with cops is to know how to respond when you are being pulled over by a law enforcement officer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog has previously discussed Michigan State Police Lieutenant Rob Davis' tips on what to do when a police officer pulls you over


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that each year 4,092 pedestrians are killed in motor related accidents. It's important for drivers to always be aware of their surroundings and to watch out for other cars as well as pedestrians. No matter how vigilant a driver is however, car accident can and do happen. If you have been involved in a car accident due to a negligent driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with a car accident attorney today.

The Dangers of High-Speed Police Chases

Source: GIPHY, Channel 4 News' Police Chase in Inglewood

Source: GIPHY, Channel 4 News' Police Chase in Inglewood

Nothing makes for more exciting TV footage than a police chase. Yet in reality, police chases put all drivers on the road at risk of car accident injuries, all because of someone's reckless decisions. Earlier this summer on June 4, 2017, 25-year-old Timothy Remon Gomez stole a vehicle and took it for a joy ride near Grand River Avenue. Gomez was spotted speeding by Michigan State Police (MSP) who ran his license plate in their database to find that the car stolen. When Michigan State Police tried to pull him over, Gomez decided to flee, leading the Michigan State Police on a high-speed chase on I-96.

However, while attempting to turn westbound onto Martin Luther King Boulevard, Gomez crashed the stolen car and instead attempted to flee on foot. Authorities soon found Gomez hiding not too far away in an abandoned house. Gomez was arraigned in the 36th District Court Monday and was charged with driving without a license, resisting and obstructing police, and receiving and concealing a motor vehicle fleeing and eluding third degree, by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Mr. Gomez was lucky that no one was harmed in this high-speed police chase.

High-Speed Police Chase Statistics

Deaths linked to police pursuits have increased in the last few years. An analysis by USA Today listed that 1 in 3 pursuits result in a high-speed car crash and police chases are responsible for more than 11,000 deaths from 1979 to 2013. It is estimated that 5,000 of those deaths include innocent bystanders and passengers. Typically, reports do not specify whether the victim was killed by the fleeing vehicle or another vehicle that was hit during the chase, but a relatively high number of high-speed car chases are caused by minor traffic violations, misdemeanors, or nonviolent felony charges.

“Overwhelmingly, someone is fleeing because they’ve got a minor warrant, their car isn’t insured, they’ve had too much to drink...the sanctions imposed by courts nationwide for merely stealing a car don’t justify anybody taking any risk.” said Edward Flynn, the police chief of Milwaukee, WI.

Police Technology Improvements

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When analyzing previous police chases, officials are often torn between police being better trained on pursuing suspects in motorized vehicles or choosing better technology to help avoid high-speed police chases altogether. According to a 2006 Justice Department study, police officers only receive 40 hours of driving training compared to 72 hours of weapons training, and though many police cruisers have portable computers or electronic dashboards, the main "technology" used in police chases is tire spikes. This method is two decades old, and involves officers knowing where a fleeing car is headed so that they can pull a strip of spikes across the road to bring the vehicle to a stop by popping its tires. It's important to note that this procedure also endangers police personnel standing in the middle of potentially busy roads to try and stop the motor vehicles with the spikes. 

In terms of modern improvements, "devices that would shut off the engines of moving cars by transmitting microwaves are not commercially available a decade after the Justice Department funded their development," reports USA Today. A new device was made back in 2010 that shoots a GPS tag onto the exterior of a vehicle to track when cars stop so police can make an arrest. Still, only 20 of the 18,000 police departments nationwide use the device.

While high speed driving is sometimes necessary for law enforcement agents to do their jobs, speeding in a car is dangerous even when the reason for doing so is to catch a criminal. Although speeding may be unavoidable, hopefully, new technologies and more high-speed chase training will help avoid some speeding car crash injuries.The hope is that the primarily negative consequences of police chases, such as innocent pedestrian car crashes, will spur officials and tech companies alike into improving the software available for high-speed pursuits. Even adopting new policies that emphasize reserving police chases for suspected violent felons could help minimize the risks of injury related to a speeding car accident. 


Fact: Around 76% of high-speed police chases last only about 5 minutes yet are responsible for approximately 7,400 car accident injuries every year. If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident involving a speeding driver, please contact The Michigan Law Firm PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

State Policeman, "What To Do When Police Pull You Over?"

When flashes of red and blue appear in the rear view mirror and the piercing sound of a siren soon follows, many drivers begin to panic as they realize they are being pulled over by the police. Drivers start thinking back on all of the bad things they ever done while behind the wheel of the car - that time when they were speeding to make it to work on time, another time when they didn't use a turn signal when changing lanes, or all those times they were texting while driving. Rather than freaking out, motorists should keep a level head, and remember the following information on how to handle a police stop. 

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Rob Davis recently spoke with an MLive reporter in order to supply the public with, what he calls, proper traffic stop etiquette. Lt. Davis warns that his advice is not to be taken as a "how-to-guide" for traffic stops, since no two traffic stops are the same. Nonetheless he has supplied the public with a general rule of thumb of what to do when being pulled over.

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What To Do When Pulled Over By Police

1. Acknowledge That You Are Being Pulled Over

Drivers can do this by simply turning on their turn signal to alert not only the officer that they intend to pull over to the side, but other drivers as well. “I can’t speak for everyone else but this simple gesture always held a lot of weight in my decision making,” Lt. Davis said. 

2. Get To A Safe Location

What Lt. Davis means by finding a safe spot is that the driver should find an area on the roadway where they can be easily seen by passersby. Make sure the area is well lit not just for the safety of the driver but for the officer as well. That means avoiding sharp curves or bends, dark intersections, deserted roads, etc. 

3. Roll Down Your Windows

Once a safe area is found and the motorist has put their car in park, Lt. Davis states that rolling down both side windows, especially if they are tinted, and if need be, turning on the interior lights of the car, is a good idea. "It makes it easier for both parties to see." Lt. Davis said.

4. Police Are Naturally Cautious, Don't Be Offended

This advice goes to those motorists who instantly respond with hostility or offense at the officer's cautious approach. The officer who signaled for you to pull over is trained to be vigilant and to be prepared for anything. It's nothing personal. Just as the motorist may not know the officer, the officer doesn't know the driver or how they may react.

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5. "Identification and Proof Of Insurance, Please"

First, Lt. Davis warns that if a driver must go digging for their documentation, they should wait until the officer signals them to do so. Secondly, drivers should refrain from removing their seat belt unless the officer wants them to step out of the vehicle.

6. "Did You Know You Were Doing 10 Over The Speed Limit?" 

This is the point in the traffic stop that many drivers hate, because depending on their response they will either be walking away with a citation or a simple warning and a promise to the officer to never do it again. Lt. Davis said, “Hopefully the officer will advise you whether you're receiving a ticket or not prior to returning to his car."

7. You Are Free To Go

The end of a traffic stop is once again decided by the officer. Drivers should have their documentation returned back to them, a ticket, or not, and a verbal confirmation given by the police deputy. 

8. Safely Merge Back Into Traffic

Once again, drivers shouldn't be offended by the officer remaining behind them with their lights on. More than likely the officer wants to make sure that the driver is safely back in traffic or is finishing up paperwork or even answering another call.  

Whether a driver agrees with the ticket or not, they should accept the officer's judgement and wait to argue the ticket in a hearing rather than confronting the issuing officer. Try to keep from making the situation worse by physically or verbally showing anger. The officer is simply doing their job by making sure the roads are safe for everyone. 

These tips are just that, tips. They are not rules to follow and do not guarantee that you won't get a ticket. Instead, these are polite pieces of advice to follow to ensure that a traffic stop goes over smoothly and respectfully on both the officer and the driver's end.


Traffic stops are not enjoyable and can be quite nerve wrecking, but hopefully Lt. Davis' advice will help relieve the pressure in how to properly conduct one's self in case a traffic stop happens. Is there a traffic ticket you want to argue in court? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM.