Motorists traditionally were taught to leave their vehicles in place after a crash occurred to make it easier for police to reconstruct the incident and evaluate who was at fault. However, the practice of leaving vehicles in the roadway can lead to secondary crashes as other drivers encounter unexpectedly blocked lanes.
To minimize secondary crashes, the Michigan Legislature passed a law in 2010 that requires motorists who have been in a crash to move their vehicles to the side of the road if there are no injuries and the vehicles are drivable. Several other states have similar “quick clearance” laws, which also reduce traffic delays associated with minor crashes.
MDOT and the Michigan State Police (MSP) adopted a message - “If you can steer it, clear it!” - to concisely explain the new law. The Bloomfield Township Police Department supports the law and adopted “Quick Clearance” guidelines in 2007. Since then drivers involved in minor non-injury traffic crashes have been requested to remove their vehicles from the roadway prior to police arrival on the scene. Drivers of vehicles still in roadway may be subject to a citation with a $1000 fine.
Chief Gaudard urges everyone to assist the police department by removing their disabled vehicles off the roadway as soon as possible. “Together, we can improve driver awareness and compliance with the law. It’s a matter of safety”.
To find out more about the law click below:
Michigan Steer It-Clear It Brochure
Michigan Legislature 2014-PA-0303