Five Common Sense Laws that Prevent Highway Accidents

Lawmakers in Michigan want to keep you safe on the road. They know that the roads are more safe when there are common sense laws that protect motorists. Michigan lawmakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) carefully study traffic accidents and vehicle flow in order to recommend and pass legislation that minimizes traffic accidents in the Mitten State. Here are five common-sense laws in Michigan that reduce traffic crashes:

  1. Drunk Driving Laws

This is a no-brainer for Michigan motorists. In Michigan, drunk driving is called Operating While Intoxicated. There are two ways to be a drunk driver in Michigan. First, if you’re operating a motor vehicle while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you’re a drunk driver. Alternatively, if you’re operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 grams per 210 liters of breath, you’re a drunk driver, regardless of whether law enforcement can prove that the alcohol influenced your ability to drive. Michigan’s drunk driving laws are found in Michigan Compiled Law 257.625. Taking drunk drivers off the roads helps to prevent traffic crashes in the state.

  1. Operating Without a License

In Michigan, all persons operating a motor vehicle on a public road or in a public place accessible to motor vehicles must have an operator’s license. This is an important way that Michigan cuts down on traffic accidents because drivers must prove that they are qualified to be on the road. There are minimum ages, too, so that motorists are mature enough to handle the responsibilities of driving. If you operate a motor vehicle without a license in Michigan, or if you operate a vehicle in Michigan after your operator’s license has been suspended or revoked, it’s a misdemeanor. There are enhanced penalties if you’re caught a second or third time, so there are good legal reasons why you should keep your license legal current and comply with Michigan law as it relates to operator licensing requirements.

  1. Expungement and Deferral Exceptions

In Michigan, there is a process for removing a criminal offense from a person’s record after a period of time. This process is called expungement. However, one way that Michigan tries to cut down on traffic crashes is by preventing people from expunging traffic offenses. That way, if a person offends again, the courts, or a potential employer, knows that the offense happened. Young offenders also cannot use the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) to remove traffic offenses from their records.

  1. Graduated Point System

Studies show that most people are safe drivers. There is a small segment of the population that doesn’t drive in a safe manner. These drivers make the roads more dangerous for all of us.

In response to this problem, Michigan has created the graduated point system for traffic offenders. Traffic offenses come with points that go on a person’s driving record. If you earn too many points in a certain period of time, you can lose your license.

Serious offenses carry the most points. Examples of these offenses include drunk driving or reckless driving. Fleeing the scene of a traffic crash can also carry a large number of points. Even small offenses such as speeding one to five miles per hour over the speed limit carry points that can really add up for motorists. Michigan removes unsafe drivers from the roads using the points system.

  1. Traffic School and Point Forgiveness

Fortunately for Michigan motorists, another way that Michigan reduces accidents is with traffic school. For certain minor qualifying offenses, Michigan allows drivers to attend an online traffic school, for a fee. The reason for this is that statistics show that the courses remind drivers how and why to use defensive driving techniques.

These techniques are proven to help cut down on crashes. Only certain, minor offenses apply, and drivers can only attend traffic school once in a certain period of time. Graduate successfully and the points are removed from your record. Better yet, this law helps Michigan cut down on motor vehicle accidents by helping drivers remember how best to drive on the roads.