Archived Story

Ask Trooper Rob: Improper lane usage can result in traffic violation

Published 11:17pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

It’s very frustrating seeing people driving in the “fast” lane when there are two lanes going in the same direction. Isn’t there a law stating that they can’t?
— Tom from Niles

Tom, thank you for the question as this is a valid reason for a traffic stop. New drivers in driver’s education classes are taught that this lane usage can result in a traffic citation.
MCL 257.642(1)(A), Roadway divided into two or more marked lanes; states: “…. Upon a roadway with four or more lanes that provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be driven within the extreme right-hand lane except when overtaking and passing, but shall not cross the center line of the roadway except where making a left turn.”

Tom, this basically states that a driver is to stay in the right hand lane unless passing, then the left lane, commonly known as the “fast lane” may be used. Then, after completing the pass, get back into the right hand lane.

A while back, I wrote about the center turn lane. MCL 257.642(1)(B) states: “Upon a roadway that is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except  in preparation for a left turn, or where the center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction the vehicle is proceeding and the allocation is designated by official traffic control devices.”

Having served as a uniformed patrol trooper at Mt. Pleasant and Northville posts, Trooper Vicki Moreau-DeVries, 28, was temporarily assigned to assist the Combined Oakland-Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET) as an undercover narcotics detective.

Moreau-DeVries had enlisted in the MSP on Feb. 20, 1977, and on July 21, 1982, made a successful transaction with a suspected heroin dealer. She stopped in Utica to celebrate and discuss the case with the team supervisor and team members. The meeting broke up about 1:30 a.m. July 22, 1982.

Because of the late hour and the fact that she was transporting evidence from the investigation, she was authorized to drive her unmarked state police car to her residence and keep it overnight. She was going to take the evidence to the MSP Crime Lab in Northville when they opened the next morning.

While driving home on I-696 Freeway near I-275 in Farmington Hills, she lost control of the car and it left the roadway and overturned. Moreau-DeVries was pronounced dead at the scene.

Moreau-DeVries, a graduate of Michigan State University, had studied law enforcement in England and at Scotland Yard.

She was survived by her husband, Trooper David DeVries, of the Brighton Post, and other family members. She is buried in Southfield and was the 36th trooper to die in the line of duty.

She is also the only female in the department’s history to lose her life in the line of duty.

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