SHERIFF'S CORNER: Calls for Service, May 2022

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin

Courtesy photo

"Yeah, dispatch ... I just seen one of those golf cart looking ATV's driving 70 down the highway!"

With the law changing again several years back for making UTV's, side-by-side's and buggy's street legal, more and more are getting their machines converted to drive legally on the road. When this has been accomplished, they can operate their side-by-side the same as any other motor vehicle.  

Now, before this changed there were several that were getting out-of-state plates such as South Dakota where you did not need to be a resident to get a legal plate there. However, this can be in conflict when it comes to Michigan law. 

Michigan law requires that a “nonresident owner” of a vehicle who drives his or her vehicle in Michigan for more than 90 days must get the vehicle registered in Michigan.

Specifically, the Michigan Vehicle Code provides that a “nonresident owner of a pleasure vehicle otherwise subject to registration under this act shall not operate the vehicle for a period exceeding 90 days without securing registration in this state.” (MCL 257.243(4))

The Michigan Vehicle Code states that “operate” means “[b]eing in actual physical control of a vehicle” (MCL 257.35a(a)) and an “operator” means “a person” who “[o]perates a motor vehicle upon a highway or street.” (MCL 257.36(a))

In short, an out of state plate on your side-by-side would not be legal if you are actually operating it in Michigan being a Michigan resident. 

To get your side-by-side street legal in Michigan, specific modifications must be made. This must then be inspected by a law enforcement agency using the TR-54 form. Those requirements are as follows:

LIGHTS

  • Headlights (one each side, high and low beams)
  • Turn signals (front and rear)
  • Taillight (at least one, if equipped with two both must work)
  • License plate light
  • Brake lights

INTERIOR

  • Horn
  • Bright light indicator
  • Windshield wipers
  • Windshield washers
  • Brakes (adequate to stop and hold the vehicle)
  • Parking brake (required on ORV/UTV for on-road use)
  • Safety belts (1965 and newer models)

WINDSHIELD AND MIRRORS

  • Safety Glass (no plexiglass, sufficient size to protect driver and passengers, no cracks, no obstructions, non-transparent material prohibited)
  • Outside rearview mirror on driver's side (adjustable)
  • Half-ton or more capacity trucks outside rearview mirrors on both sides

EXTERIOR

  • Bumpers (required on passenger vehicles, 14 to 22 inches above the ground except 4-wheel drive)
  • Tires (2/32 inch tread, no exposed cord or tread separation, approved for highway use by D.O.T.)
  • Exhaust (good working order, no excessive noise. Must include a tailpipe and resonator where the original design included a tailpipe and resonator)
  • Differential gear

The two biggest issues I have seen recently with side-by-side's not passing inspection are the having the wrong tires and not having an independent parking brake. 

A street legal side-by-side must be equipped with DOT approved tires. The markings "NHS" are not street legal tires. 

NHS means Non-Highway Service or in other words it is not designed to withstand highway speeds.

The parking brake in essence has to be an after-market installation and separate from the manufacturers breaking system. 

CALLS FOR SERVICE

It's time for the monthly "calls for service" report. This will provide you with an idea of the prior month's response for public safety services within the county.

  • 3500/VCSA, 3
  • 911 Hang Up, 5
  • 911 Text, 1
  • Abandoned Call, 1
  • Abandoned Vehicle, 9
  • Accidents Falls, 23
  • Agricultural Fire, 1
  • Alarms, 44
  • Allergic Reaction, 1
  • Animal Control, 57
  • Annoyance Threats, 18
  • Arson, 1
  • Assault, 12
  • Assisting Other Agencies, 16
  • Attempt To Locate / Well Check, 23
  • Be On The Look Out, 7
  • Bleeding, 7
  • Blood Draw, 2
  • Breaking And Entering,10
  • Breaking And Entering In Progress, 2
  • Breathing Difficulty, 28
  • Business Property Check, 39
  • Car Animal, 2
  • Car Deer, 19
  • Chest And Heart Problems, 21
  • Child Abuse, 2
  • Citizen Assist, 6
  • Civil Complaints, 17
  • Civil Standby, 5
  • Code K, 10
  • Covert Investigations, 1
  • Covert Opps, 5
  • CPR Adult, 1
  • Diabetic, 10
  • Disorderly Person, 5
  • Disturbance, 7
  • DNR Complaint, 1
  • Domestic, 17
  • Dumping Complaint, 3
  • EMS Assist, 8
  • EMS Coverage, 49
  • EMS Transfer, 56
  • Escapee (Attempted), 1
  • Fire Alarm, 5
  • Fire Assist, 1
  • Foot Patrol, 5
  • Found Property, 7
  • Fraud, 6
  • Gas Odors, 5
  • Harassment, 10
  • Head Injury, 1
  • Illegal Burning, 21
  • Jail Pick Up/Transport, 26
  • Juvenile, 6
  • Juvenile Runaway, 2
  • Larceny, 33
  • Lift Assist, 11
  • Lines Down, 11
  • Lost Property, 3
  • Marine Patrol, 3
  • MDOP, 10
  • Medical Alarm, 8
  • Mental Emotional, 15
  • MIP, 2
  • Missing Person, 4
  • Motorist Assist, 13
  • Open Line, 2
  • ORV Traffic Stop, 94
  • ORV Accident, 11
  • Overdose, 4
  • Pain Back Abdominal, 20
  • Paper Service, 16
  • Personal Injury Accident, 17
  • PPO Request Violation, 10
  • Pregnancy And Childbirth, 3
  • Property Check, 8
  • Property Damage Accident, 20
  • Pursuits, 5
  • Reckless Driver, 6
  • Reckless ORV, 8
  • Road Hazard, 6
  • Road Kill, 1
  • Rollover, 3
  • Seizures, 15
  • Shooting, 2
  • Sick Unknown, 55
  • Smoke/Unknown Fire, 6
  • Special Event Coverage, 15
  • Stroke, 7
  • Structure Fire, 13
  • Suicide/Attempted Suicide, 1
  • Suspicious Person, 7
  • Suspicious Situation, 39
  • Suspicious Vehicle, 17
  • Traffic Control, 2
  • Traffic Stop, 282
  • Trespass, 7
  • Unconscious Unresponsive, 15
  • Unwanted Person, 9
  • VIN Inspection, 3
  • Warrant Arrest, 9
  • Watercraft Traffic Stop, 6
  • Weapons, 5
  • Wild Land Fire, 4

— This information is provided to you for clarification on specific laws, and not legal advice. This is not to be construed as a personal opinion, agreement or disagreement of any specific law. Topics covered are for educational and informational purposes only. As needed, excerpts from other articles are used for reference and/or content. If you have any questions on any specific topic, you may always email me your questions to rmartin@co.lake.mi.us.