Exploring and Ultimate Responsibility

Sgt. Mark Thompson of the Michigan State Police talks about alternative routes and waving through traffic.

Have you ever been lost?  Yeah, me neither, but I have been exploring a couple of times.

Now ask yourself, if the road I take to go home or work is closed for some reason, could I still drive myself home or to work? I know some of you are thinking; do I know another way to get to where I need or want to be?   

There may be times when the roads you travel to your home are closed for a variety of reasons; road construction/maintenance, crash investigations, fire scenes, crime scenes or some other emergency, just to name a few. And it is not uncommon for some people who have forever traveled only one way to a destination to be entirely and completely befuddled when that route is closed. 

I would suggest we all explore another route to our important destinations, just in case something happens, we will still arrive and our day has only a minor inconvenience. It sure beats parking along side a road until the road closure is reopened. Besides you may just find another interesting restaurant, store or shop to visit on that exploring trip.

J. Michael Lenninger – Brighton, MI. Mr. Lenninger’s wife knows someone who waved someone to cross in front of them into the open lane of traffic and that person’ vehicle got hit by an oncoming car. The person who was waved into the open lane received a ticket. 

Mr. Lenninger asks, “Especially when the other driver can’t see oncoming traffic, should we not wave them through?”

If the person in Mr. Lenninger's example was actually “waved” into an open lane of traffic there would not have been a crash. And yes, the person pulling into the lane of traffic would be the at-fault party as it is their responsibility to make sure they can merge into traffic safely.

The driver traveling in a lane of traffic has the right-of-way over those drivers who are seeking access to that lane of traffic.  

To answer Mr. Lenninger’s question, “Should we not wave them through,” the answer is probably not. But even more important is, if you are a driver wanting to drive into a lane of traffic and you cannot see the lane is clear, you should not drive into that lane.  If a crash occurs, just like in Mr. Lenninger’s example, you would be the at fault driver. 

“Most Americans who complain that they enjoy too little leisure are struggling to find a few extra minutes to watch Oprah Winfrey and L.A. Law”  ~ Gary Burtless ~ Wall Street Journal - January 4, 1990 

If you have a question, please send it to askatrooper12@gmail.com, please include your hometown, or mail it to the Michigan State Police – Brighton Post, 4803 S. Old US-23, Brighton, MI   48114.


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