I-696 Ready To Go, But Please Drive Slow

Interstate 696 (I-696) officially reopened on January 6, 2019 for drivers travelling eastbound in Macomb County from I-94 to I-75. Eastbound 696 is also open, with the exception of Hoover Rd. to Eastbound 696, which are expected to reopen Saturday, January 12. This is exciting news! Still not excited? Well, this means many drivers are going back to their scheduled routines, will no longer see “workers ahead” signs, and face less stop and go traffic in the early mornings. Not to mention, drivers will no longer travel in constant fear of dodging potholes! While these new, smooth, wide, open lanes may put on a smile on commuters faces, they may also cause drivers to take advantage of these repairs and speed, which may then lead to traffic violations, monstrous fines, and even car crash fatalities.

Failing to follow the posted speed limit may lead to traffic violations issued by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Driving recklessly, speeding, or even travelling 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit are examples of traffic violations. According to Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS), “each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, drivers will have to pay certain court fines and costs.” In addition, points may be posted to a driver’s record. Under Michigan's point system, “each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code.” Also, “points are placed on someone’s driver record only after they have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction.”

Points For Speeding Traffic Convictions:

Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

Six Points:

  • Reckless Driving.

  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag Racing, 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.

Three Points:

  • Careless Driving, 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.

Once convicted of a traffic conviction, points remain on the offender’s driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction. Racking up points might seem fun in an arcade game but in terms of driving, may lead to suspended licenses.

If traffic convictions such as tickets or license suspension don’t alarm drivers and persuade them to follow posted speed limits, maybe the possibility of a car accident, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or even death might. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “there were 37,461 traffic fatalities in 2016. Among them, 10,111 (27%) were in crashes where at least one driver was speeding.” Furthermore, the speed of a vehicle at the time of a motor vehicle accident also has an impact on the severity of a car crash and any subsequent injuries. According to a study presented at the University of California Berkeley, “for every 1% increase in speed, a driver’s chance of an accident increases by 2%, the chance of serious injury increases 3%, and the chance of fatality increases by about 4%.” So, while drivers may feel the “need for speed,” it’s imperative to remember that I-696’s posted speed limit is 70 mph. However, it is important to note that according to the Michigan Department of Transportation ( MDOT), semi trucks are not permitted to exceed 65 mph on the freeway. Going faster than these recommended speed limits may cause severe injuries or even death in the event of a speeding car crash.

Source: Giphy, Top Gun

Newly repaired roads are a treat for Michigan drivers. Aside from their shiny, smooth, aesthetic appeal, new roads mean that drivers no longer have to swerve to dodge potholes and they reach their destinations faster since their drive no longer impeded by roadblocks and machinery taking up some of the lanes. However, drivers shouldn’t take advantage of this new luxury and speed! Even the slightest speed increase may reroute a driver’s life forever if they cause a speeding car crash.


Speeding comes with a price tag, and no one can afford a traffic fatality. Drivers must use caution when travelling on the freeway. Traffic violations can be a pain to deal with, but car accident injuries like herniated discs, broken bones, and TBI’s are far more painful. If you’ve been involved in a car crash caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Beware Of Traffic Light Camera Ticketing

With the holiday season fast approaching, thousands of Michiganders will do doubt be travelling to see their families or even to take a winter vacation. While many may choose to fly, driving is also a popular travel method to reach nearby destinations. While roadtrippers are crossing between states, they need take into consideration any differences in state road laws, particularly at intersections. Unlike Michigan, the Detroit News says 23 other states use automated ticket cameras to fine drivers unaware that they are being filmed for breaking the law. 

Michigan Out of State Traffic Ticket Lawyer

Privatized traffic law enforcement systems are growing in number throughout the United States, but Michigan has yet to follow the trend. The fact that Michigan hasn't followed suit may be for the best since many states have had negative experiences, and even scandals arise from the use of ticketing cameras. While traffic cameras were designed to make drivers follow road rules, since even just seeing a camera causes motorists to slow down, this is the exact reason they also caused trouble when drivers are ticketed after driving through an intersection during the “dilemma zone." The dilemma zone refers to the time frame in which a driver has to make a split-second decision to proceed through or slam on their brakes to stop, when a traffic light has just turned red.

Additionally, a study conducted in Los Angeles, California highlighted how red-light cameras led to an increase in traffic accidents, predominantly rear-end car crashes from drivers slamming on their brakes after seeing the camera's flash. This study led to many cities in California to break their contractual agreement with the traffic camera companies and even discover that one city's police department purposely stopped recording the information received from the traffic cameras in order to hide the results.

The scandals occurring in other states who use ticketing cameras at intersections include companies bribing local officials, automated ticket companies refusing to use the money acquired through traffic citations for public school funding, and privately owned ticket operation companies placing profit over traffic safety by setting ticket quotas.

It is for all of these problems with traffic cameras that Michigan Senator Mike Shirkey introduced Senate Bill 593 in November 2015. The bill suggests banning the use of unmanned traffic monitoring devices to detect or enforce traffic violations concerning speed limits, signals, traffic signs, etc. 

Shirkey has said, “The recent scandals that took place in other states (related to ticketing cameras at intersections) show the true nature of some of these programs, and Michigan drivers have always, thankfully, valued freedom and we've avoided the added stress that cameras and their inaccurate ticketing can present.”

Michigan Traffic Ticket Lawyer

For now, Michigan residents can rest easy that the traffic cameras currently in place at select intersections across the state are simply there to monitor the flow of traffic. That doesn’t mean however, that drivers should disobey traffic signs or forget the laws of the road. Police can and will issue traffic citations which may be difficult to fight in court and may lead to points being added to a motorist's license, no matter if the ticket is received out-of-state or in-state.

Although some Americans relate traffic cameras to sinister government objectives such as increasing tax rates and invading citizens privacy, and point to the above mentioned scandals as proof, these state governments view traffic cameras as a safety addition to their city which keeps down traffic violations and keeps school zones safe. So, when you're driving to Bubbe's house for Hannukah this year, mind your speed or traffic cameras won't mind giving you a speeding ticket. It's better to eat cold latkes than have to explain to your Michigan accident Lawyer that you got rear-ended in Ohio when you slammed on your brakes at a traffic light that took your picture for speeding. 


Red light cameras and speeding ticket cameras seem to be a reasonable safety measure for many American lawmakers who are working to help decrease and prevent auto accidents and traffic violations. While Michigan doesn't employ cameras to catch speeding or rule breaking drivers, Michigan drivers should always remember to follow the rules of the road to avoid getting in trouble with the law and to avoid getting into motor vehicle accidents. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

Kalamazoo Crash Underscores Consequences of Speeding

A tragic car crash in Kalamazoo, Michigan over Labor Day Weekend has demonstrated the deadly consequences of driving over the speed limit. Five teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 died in a fiery car crash around 1 AM on the morning of Saturday, September 2, 2017. They were traveling nearly 100 mph in a Dodge Charger when they slammed into a tree. A parked Kalamazoo police officer saw the car go speeding by and began following the car in order to slow it down. Upon rounding a corner however, he discovered that the car crashed and was being consumed by flames.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Speeding car accidents like this Kalamazoo car crash one are unfortunately not uncommon. Readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog may remember a similar teenage speeding car crash that resulted in the deaths of 3 of the 5 teenagers involved, in Stony Creek Metro Park.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a speed related crash as one in which the driver “was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash.” In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, 27% of all fatalities from automobile accidents in the country were due to speeding. In Michigan, speeding related fatalities are also about 27% of all fatalities from automobile accidents. Data from the NHTSA shows that drivers between the ages of 15 and 34 are most likely to speed, and males are more likely to speed than females. Also, weekends and night time are when the most speeding occurs. In states with harsh winters such as Michigan, ice and snow also increase the likelihood of speed related car crashes.

This heartbreaking car accident highlights the dangers of speeding. Whether it’s 1 mile per hour over the speed limit or 20, speeding is not only dangerous, but is also against the law. According to the Michigan Legislature, driving at a speed greater than the posted speed limit is known as a violation of a basic speed law (VBSL). Basic speeding laws are set in place to assure that vehicles will be able to stop within a clear distance of the car ahead if need be. 

Michigan’s Posted Speeding Laws

Speeding Car Crash Lawyer
  • 25 miles per hour in business districts.
  • 25 miles per hour in residential districts.
  • 25 miles per hour within the boundaries of a public park.
  • 55 miles per hour on truck-line and county highways.
  • 55 miles per hour on gravel highways.
  • 70 miles per hour on limited access freeways.

In the state of Michigan, speeding is considered a civil infraction, resulting in speeding tickets of up to $100. In some circumstances, driving over the speed limit may even be considered reckless driving, which may result in a fine of up to $500 and possibly jail time. More so, according to the Michigan Secretary of State, driving over the speed limit can also result in points being added to the driver's license. Different violations have different point values, and the points stay on the driver’s record for two years after the conviction date.

Points for Speed Related Infractions

  • Reckless driving = 6 points
  • Drag racing = 4 points
  • Driving 16 mph over the speed limit or more = 4 points
  • Careless driving = 3 points
  • Driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit = 3 points
  • Driving 10 mph or less over the speed limit = 2 points

Speeding is illegal and dangerous. Driving over the speed limit may result in points on the driver’s record, a suspended license, tickets, and even jail time. What's worse however is that speed related automobile accidents may lead to serious injury or death. Going 10 mph over the posted speed limit and potentially rear-ending a vehicle due being unable to slow down in time for a sudden red light, is not worth shaving 5 minutes off of a commute. Drivers should instead plan out their trip before they leave and should be prepared to leave ahead of their scheduled departure time to ensure a smooth, steady, and safe drive to their intended destination. 


Speeding not only hurts your driving record, but it may also lead to serious injuries and death in the event of a speeding car crash. Driving over the speed limit, regardless of how much over the limit, is illegal. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a speeding driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

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

Michigan Police Accident Lawyer

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.

Ann Arbor's Traffic Enforcement Campaign

Ann Arbor Car Crash Lawyer

Two years ago, Ann Arbor, Michigan was the target of a traffic enforcement campaign intended to get drivers to stop and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. To enforce the campaign, officers were stationed at 36 crosswalks. Within six months, Ann Arbor police made over 1,300 stops, issued 480 citation,s and 903 warnings for speeding and other violations. This has led to an 11% drop in traffic stops within Ann Arbor. 

Of course, the campaign has received complaints but, since Ann Arbor pedestrian car accidents have decreased, the city council is looking forward to implementing the same campaign at Western Michigan University (WMU). The council has assigned $150,000 to WMU in order to increase driver yielding rates at crosswalks, more importantly, mid-block pedestrian crossings. The money is budgeted to pay the policing staff for overtime, work assignments, data preparation, field reviews, project managers and improvement to infrastructure such as signs and pavement markings. The city also intends to find and work with community partners like the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition to address issues such as pedestrian safety. 

Since Ann Arbor's sidewalk ordinances are different from the rest of Michigan, the police are trying to make sure people are informed. This creates a bit of a challenge when some of the drivers who aren’t from Ann Arbor. 

Ann Arbor Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyer

Ann Arbor Police Officer Jamie Adkins, took the time to educate citizens about mid-block pedestrian crossings and what you should do when approaching them by saying, "[These are] marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks that have curb cuts. There are some nuances to it in terms of if they're coming into your path versus moving away from your path, but the crux of it is that Ann Arbor requires motorists to stop for pedestrians who are waiting to cross at the crosswalk.”

"The original program's success has been found to be sustainable through follow-up research four years later,” wrote city traffic engineer, Cynthia Redinger, in her memo explaining the study.

The study has also gained recognition in Florida through Ron Van Houten, a psychology professor at WMU, who is looking to implement the study for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers nationwide can look forward to seeing pedestrian crosswalk ordinances being enforced for public safety through traffic citations. With the nation's growing concern of accidents caused in pedestrian crossing zones, it was only a matter of time before states took notice and started to correct the problem. 


Ann Arbor's traffic enforcement campaign has brought to light how supplementing enforcement and education can greatly improve pedestrian and motorist safety. Studies have proven, that in changing drivers attitudes when approaching and yielding at crosswalks, it can, in turn, improve traffic flow and keep accidents from occurring in pedestrian crosswalks. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a driver neglecting to adhere to crosswalk ordinances, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC.  Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.