Thursday, May 4, 2006

My Run-In With The Law

I was driving in the far right lane on I-94 between Detroit, MI and Kalamazoo, MI when I saw a cop giving somebody a ticket in the breakdown lane up ahead. A conscientious driver, I quickly slowed from 71 down to an irreproachable 64 mph. I was thus very surprised to see flashing lights in my rear view mirror a minute later. I was being pulled over! With heart racing, I immediately pulled off onto the shoulder, rolled down my window, and pulled out my license and the rental car agreement.

Donna had been happily dozing in the back seat. She was now awake and, I suspect, not terribly impressed with my performance as trio driver of the day.

The officer walked up to the window and started asking questions about where I was going and, when he saw my New York license, why I was in Michigan. Eventually he asked if I knew why he had pulled me over. Meekly, I said that I did not.

He then explained to me that there had been several recent accidents where police officers were hit by oncoming cars while they were giving speeding tickets. Michigan had responded by creating a law requiring all cars to switch out of the far right lane whenever they passed emergency vehicles on the side of the road. This idea makes perfect sense to me, but I had had no idea it was Michigan law. After I explained this to the officer, he let me off with a verbal warning.

So I'm now warning all of you!


At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Emily,

It sounds to me as if you need a good lawyer. If Michigan wants to enact a law like this that probably isn't the law in any (or many) other states, then it ought to post signs on the highway to that effect. You also might have a case for damages from the car rental company which may have a legal obligation to alert all our-of-staters renting a car regarding this unusual rule. I know someone who might well be willing to take you case on on a contingent fee basis! Let me know if you want details.

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oliver, why would she need a good lawyer? She was let off with a verbal warning. Not much of a case there.


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