Failure to yield to an emergency responder is a surprisingly common offense in Michigan. It frequently occurs when a police officer is attempting to pass through traffic or has pulled someone over to the side of the road. MCL 257.653 gives us the details of this offense and some clarification about what is expected of other drivers.
Under 257.653, when an authorized emergency vehicle approaches with its lights and sirens on, the drivers of other vehicles are required to yield the right of way and pull over to the side of the road until the emergency vehicle has passed. If you fail to do this, you may be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Under 257.653a, if there is a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on, other drivers are required to move one lane away or, if this is not possible, to reduce speed to such that is safe. Violating this provision results in a misdemeanor. This is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days. The primary concern here is that the police officer will likely need to exit his or her car in order to address situations. Therefore, it is safer if drivers give them extra space.
Under 257.653b, approaching and passing a garbage or recycling truck or other type of utility or road service vehicle that is giving off visual signals like lights, other drivers are required to reduce speed. This is also a misdemeanor even though it is not an emergency vehicle.
Though these instructions are guided by common sense, it is easy to forget to obey them, especially if you’re in a hurry. If you have been charged with failure to yield to an emergency responder or vehicle, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are an experienced law firm and regularly represent clients in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Lapeer County, making us ideal representatives for your case.