When driving on an interstate highway in Michigan such as I-75 or I-94, you may have noticed crossovers between the lanes of traffic going in opposite directions with a sign indicating “AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY”. What vehicles are authorized under the Michigan Vehicle Code to use crossovers on limited access highways? What are the penalties for improper use of these crossovers?
MCL 257.26 defines “limited access highway” as “every highway, street, or roadway in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right of access to or from the same except at such points only, and in such manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over such highway, street or roadway.” This means that these highways can only be accessed through specific entrance ramps or lanes and can only be departed through specific exit ramps or lanes. This definition covers all interstate highways and many state highways running through both urban and rural areas.
MCL 257.644(1) states “[c]rossovers on limited access highways shall not be used except by vehicles described in [MCL 257.603], road service vehicles while going to or returning from servicing a disabled vehicle, and as otherwise permitted by authorized signs.” Authorized vehicles include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- All vehicles owned or operated by the United States, this states, or a county, city, township, village, district or any other political subdivision of this state including police cruisers and ambulances.
- Road service vehicles, which means “vehicles clearly marked and readily recognizable as a vehicle used to assist disabled vehicles.”
A person who violates the law by using crossovers on limited access highways when not permitted to do is responsible for a civil infraction punishable by a fine. MCL 257.644(2). In addition, two points will be added to your driving record.
A person accused of a civil infraction is not required to admit responsibility and can request a formal or informal hearing before a district court judge or magistrate. An attorney can help you present an effective defense or may be able to negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor that results in an extremely favorable outcome. In many cases, a skilled traffic lawyer can negotiate a plea to a reduced offense involving a non-moving violation that, while still punishable by a fine, would not add points to your driving record, would not be reported to the Michigan Secretary of State, and would not cause an increase in your automobile insurance rates.
If you or a loved one is accused of any traffic offense in the State of Michigan, do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Kershaw, Vititoe & Jedinak PLC for assistance today.