Ask Trooper Rob

Published 10:58 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

 “I just received a ‘fix it’ ticket for a busted taillight. What do I do next?”  

— A reader from from Niles

A “fix it” ticket or a waiverable citation is usually used for defective equipment.

A burned out headlight, loud exhaust, or tinted windows are a few examples of when law enforcement uses this.

Usually, 10 days are given for the defective equipment to be repaired. Once repaired, bring the citation to any Michigan police officer. We would have you turn on the headlights, rev up the engine, or measure the window tint and verify this was compliant with the law, then sign the back of the ticket. You then mail or deliver in person the ticket to the appropriate court.

As long as it is done within the ten days, the ticket is dismissed and nothing goes on a driving record.

You should contact the court if you need an extension because a part has to be ordered or some other unforeseen event. It is highly advised you don’t let this lapse and forget about it.

Recently, I have entered bench warrants because drivers didn’t take care of the citation and they have now failed to comply.

 “I don’t want my name involved in a report but I want to report a tip. How can I do this?” 

— A reader from Dowagiac

Many local police departments have tip lines to report situations within their jurisdiction.

On the Michigan State Police website (WWW.Michigan.Gov/MSP) under the tab “About MSP” there is a tab for specific tip lines and their phone numbers.

The “OK2Say” tip line, specifically for schools, also has email and phone apps to report incidents. Crime stoppers assign confidential numbers to a caller.

If that caller is needed or more information is requested, then that number is used to have the tipster call back.

A simple phone call can be used also. You may tell us that you wish to remain anonymous and give the information. If it is a major tip there are ways to keep you anonymous in the report.

 “I would like to know what the roads are like from New Buffalo to Traverse City. Can you tell me if there are any delays along the way?” 

— An anonymous reader

On a phone call like this, we will put you into a voicemail for “Roads and Weather” which is updated frequently and has other phone numbers you may need.

As the dispatchers are sitting inside a room with limited window views, we are not able to honestly answer this type of question. AAA may call once or twice a day with requests for road conditions.

With limited patrols, we may be able to call and get conditions for a specific stretch of roadway which gets passed on for their automated updates.  Again, the MSP website, listed above, has an icon for road conditions.

By clicking on this you can access many websites and phone numbers that can be used to plan your trip ahead of time.

Some may even have a phone app for the road. Plan ahead when driving and use this information.

Rob Herbstreith is a community service trooper with the Michigan State Police Niles post. Questions or comments can be emailed to