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Rob Herbstreith: Funeral processions have right-of-way

Published 7:35am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Q: What happens when people cut through funeral processions? — Heather from Niles

A: Heather, per MVC 257.654, a motor vehicle forming part of a funeral procession, when going to a place of burial, shall have the right-of-way over all other vehicles except fire apparatus, ambulances and police patrol vehicles at a street or highway intersection within this state if the vehicle in the funeral procession displays a flag which shall be fluorescent orange in color, and upon which shall be printed, stamped or stained a black cross, the star of David or the crescent and star. The lead vehicle and the last vehicle in the funeral procession may carry an additional flag. The flags shall not contain a name embossed or printed on the flag, except the word “funeral.” A person passing through a funeral procession of motor vehicles, designated pursuant to above, with a vehicle of any kind, is responsible for a civil infraction and may receive a ticket.

Q: What are my responsibilities as a citizen when I come across a medical situation? — Judi from Niles

A: Judi, the “Good Samaritan Law” covers this. It’s listed under MCL 691.1504. This basically states that an individual, who, having no duty to do so, in good faith, voluntarily renders cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to another individual, is not liable in a civil action for damages except for an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. It also lists specified persons not liable in a civil action for damages except for an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct for use of defibrillators. Also, concerning crashes, MVC 257.617 through 620 state drivers knowing they are involved in a crash has reporting requirements to the other driver and police. If injuries are involved, the driver must stay and render aid if needed, unless it is unsafe to do so.

Q: How many passengers can ride on a motorcycle, where can they sit and do I have to wear a helmet? — Jacob from Niles

A: Jacob, MVC 257.658(2) states a bicycle or motorcycle shall not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. MVC 257.658a(1) states that in addition to the requirements of section 658, a motorcycle shall be equipped with adequate seats and foot rests or pegs for each designated seating position. Foot rests or pegs must be securely attached. A passenger shall not ride on a motorcycle unless his or her feet can rest on the assigned foot rests or pegs except that this requirement does not apply to a person who is unable to reach the foot rests or pegs due to a permanent physical disability. A driver carrying a small child on the fuel tank comes under this section and the driver could receive a traffic citation. Lastly, MVC 257.658(4) states that a person operating or riding on a motorcycle and any person less than 19 years of age operating a moped on a public thoroughfare shall wear a crash helmet on his or her head. Crash helmets shall be approved by the department of state police. The department of state police shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328. Rules in effect on June 1, 1970 shall apply to helmets required by this act.

Next week I will address summer safety, specifically the neighborhood watch program.

E-mail Trooper Rob Herbstreith at

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