Today I want to write a little about the rules of the road. Michigan’s Vehicle Code was passed initially in 1940. Although it has been amended from time to time as a result of changes in road design and technology but its basics have been the same since then. I am presuming most of us learned it in driver’s ed.
Despite this, I am frequently asked about who has right of way when there is no traffic control device (sign or signal). It becomes an issue at intersections when traffic signals go out. When that happens drivers tend to treat them as 4 way stops. Not a bad way to deal with it. No additional stop signs or traffic control is really needed, given the right of way rules in the statute, and with the decrease in staffing for our roadway authorities they simply can’t send their personnel everywhere to put up signs in a timely way particularly in power outage situation. Nor can they get out there as quickly as they’d like to get the signs down so we don’t end up with a situation where the signs conflict with the signals.
Here is what the Vehicle Code says:
257.649 Right-of-way; rules; violation as civil infraction
(1) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(2) When 2 vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
It isn’t difficult –if you arrive at the intersection at the same time–allow the vehicle approaching on your right to have right of way. It isn’t a contest–the Grand Prix was last weekend on Belle Isle.