Ask Trooper Rob: What is a VBSL ticket?

“I got a ticket for VBSL for sliding on the ice and crashing. Can you explain what VBSL is, please?”  — Anonymous from Dowagiac

VBSL, or Violation of the Basic Speed Law, which is covered under MVC 257.627(1), states, “A person operating a vehicle on a highway shall operate that vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition then existing. A person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead.”

“Careful and prudent speed” are key in this instance.

Posted speed limits may not be safe on snow and ice, or even in other inclement weather such as rain or fog. This is the violation.

“Fail to stop in assured clear distance” and “following too closely” may be notes added to this charge for the crash report.

MVC 257.626b — Careless or negligent operation of vehicle, states, “A person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness, is responsible for a civil infraction.”

MVC 257.626 — Reckless driving on highway, frozen public lake, or parking place, states, “(1) A person who violates this section is guilty of reckless driving punishable as provided in this section.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500, or both.

(3) Beginning Oct. 31, 2010, a person who operates a vehicle in violation of subsection (2) and by the operation of that vehicle causes serious impairment of a body function to another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000, or both. The judgment of sentence may impose the sanction permitted under section 625n. If the vehicle is not ordered forfeited under section 625n, the court shall order vehicle immobilization under section 904d in the judgment of sentence.

(4) Beginning Oct. 31, 2010, a person who operates a vehicle in violation of subsection (2) and by the operation of that vehicle causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not less than $2,500 or more than $10,000, or both. The judgment of sentence may impose the sanction permitted under section 625n. If the vehicle is not ordered forfeited under section 625n, the court shall order vehicle immobilization under section 904d in the judgment of sentence.

 

Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to TrooperRob53@yahoo.com.

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