New law: If you can steer it, clear it.

Courtesy: Marquette Police Department

The Marquette Police Department would like to notify drivers about a new law affecting vehicles involved in accidents.

Section 257.618a of the Michigan Vehicle Code requires that vehicles involved in accidents be removed immediately from the traveled portion of the roadway. Unless the crash has resulted in serious impairment of bodily function, or death, a person possessing a valid driver’s license shall move the vehicle out of lanes of travel.

If the vehicle is unable to move under its own power, or if moving the vehicle would result in further damage to the vehicle or roadway, or if moving the vehicle cannot be done safely, drivers are exempt from this law.

Moving a vehicle to safe refuge outside of the travel lanes prior to a police officer’s arrival is not an indication of fault. The purpose of the law is to minimize the impact on traffic, and to reduce the occurrence of secondary crashes at accident scenes.

257.618a Vehicle accident; removal from main traveled portion of roadway; conditions; violation as civil infraction.
Sec. 618a.

(1) Unless the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident knows or reasonably should know that serious impairment of a bodily function or death has resulted from the accident, the operator or any other occupant of the motor vehicle who possesses a valid driver license shall remove the motor vehicle from the main traveled portion of the roadway into a safe refuge on the shoulder, emergency lane, or median or to a place otherwise removed from the roadway if both of the following apply:

(a) Moving the motor vehicle may be done safely.

(b) The motor vehicle is capable of being normally and safely operated and can be operated under its own power in its customary manner without further damage or hazard to the traffic elements or to the roadway.

(2) The operator or any other person who removes a motor vehicle from the main traveled portion of the roadway as provided in this section before the arrival of a police officer is not prima facie at fault regarding the cause of the traffic accident solely by reason of moving the motor vehicle as provided in this section.

(3) The decision of the operator or any other person to remove or not to remove a motor vehicle from the main traveled portion of the roadway as provided in this section is not admissible in a civil action as evidence that a serious impairment of bodily function has or has not resulted from the accident.

(4) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

More information about this law can be found here.