Passing on the Right…Isn’t Right

Drivers on M104 in the Spring Lake area may notice increased patrols from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. During the safety campaign, deputies will be watching for speeding, seat belt use and other traffic violations. There is one violation, however, that they will keep a closer eye on: passing on the right using the shoulder.

You may not even know that moving onto the shoulder and ‘passing on the right’ alongside a car waiting to make a left turn is both dangerous and illegal. In Michigan, it is only legal to pass on the right if your vehicle stays on the main traveled portion of the roadway. Shoulders, whether paved or gravel, are not the roadway. Passing on the shoulder is also dangerous. Cyclists and pedestrians use these shoulders regularly and find themselves in harms way if drivers pass on the shoulder. Passing on the shoulder predisposes accidents as well, since the next driver in line has less time to react to the vehicle that is waiting to turn left. To remind drivers of the law, MDOT will be installing signs on M104. Drivers cited for the infraction face a $125 fine and three points on their record.