New traffic law designed to protect emergency workers

It hasn’t got a whole lot of attention but a brand new traffic law could end up costing Michigan drivers big bucks if they violate it.

Signed into law last year by then-Gov. Rick Snyder, the amended Emergency Vehicle Caution Law requires motorists to slow down to 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move to a new lane when passing an authorized vehicle, such as a police, fire, waste collection, utility or similar emergency vehicle.

Failure to comply could get the motorist hit with a $400 ticket. The regulation went into effect Wednesday.

At about the time that he signed it, Snyder said he hoped the new law would ultimately improve safety, and so do we.

Emergency personnel working on the side of the road are exposed to significant danger by passing traffic. Dozens of workers are hurt and killed each year in these tragic incidents.

We hope this law causes motorists to stop and think things through, as they approach an unusual or emergency situation along the road.

Because, at the end of the day, someone’s life could depend on it.