9 MSP cruisers struck in Lower Peninsula

State police reminds drivers to be safe when passing patrol cars

Shown is a Michigan State Police patrol car honoring the agency’s 100-year anniversary. Following nine incidents in which police cruisers were accidentally struck by passing vehicles, the MSP is reminding motorists to slow down and maintain a reasonable distance when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped along roadways. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — After nine Michigan State Police cruisers were struck while policing crashes between Jan. 28 and Friday in the Lower Peninsula, police are reminding the public to reduce speeds and be alert while driving in winter conditions, as well as an amendment to the existing law regarding emergency vehicles.

While none of the troopers involved in the secondary crashes were seriously injured, the Michigan State Police emphasized that “even during inclement weather, drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times.”

“Driving too fast for conditions is the No. 1 cause of traffic crashes in winter weather,” MSP Eighth District Commander Capt. John Halpin said in a press release. “For your safety and ours, please slow down, increase your following distance and give our first repsonders plenty of room to do their jobs.”

Michigan’s Emergency Vehicle Caution law, which went into effect in 2001, requires that when motorists are passing a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck pulled over with its flashing, rotating or oscillating lights on that they move over at least one lane or two vehicle widths if safe to do so. If it’s not possible to move over, motorist must slow down and pass the emergency vehicle with caution, police said.

Furthermore, an amendment to the law will take effect Feb. 13 that will also require motorists to reduce their speed by at least 10 miles per an hour below the posted speed limit when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle that has its lights activated.