It was an honor and privilege to personally receive the Special Tribute and Commendation signed by the Governor last week.

As stated: "Sheriff Martin has worked diligently on improving the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in regard to increased and improved training, public outreach, community programs, transparency and accountability. We recognize his loyal service in protecting and defending the people of Lake County."

Keeping that in mind, any form of communication from law enforcement to the community has aided in accomplishing this. That led me to my idea behind the "Sheriff's Corner."

When I started the "Sheriff's Corner" articles some time back, one of my main thoughts was to answer questions on laws that we receive on a somewhat daily basis which are usually misunderstood, are actual myths or need clarification.

Expanding with this idea, I am going to start covering random laws that you may or may not have heard of. From time to time, I plan to supplement some of my usual articles with these articles.

So, with that being said, here is the first edition of random laws.

Parked Vehicle Lighting

MCL 255.694 states: Whenever a vehicle is parked or stopped upon a highway whether attended or unattended during the times mentioned in section 684 (any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise) there shall be displayed upon the left side of such vehicle one or more lamps projecting a white or amber light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle and projecting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the rear, except that local authorities may provide by ordinance that no lights need be displayed upon any such vehicle when parked in accordance with local ordinances upon a highway where there is sufficient light to reveal any person within a distance of 500 feet upon such highway.

Vehicle Horns

MCL 257.706(a) states: A motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet but a horn or other warning device shall not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway.

Texting or Operating a Communication Device

MCL 257.602(b)(1) states: Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person's hand or in the person's lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state … a wireless 2-way communication device does not include a global positioning or navigation system that is affixed to the motor vehicle.

Changing of Address on License

MCL 257.315(1) states: An operator or chauffeur who changes his or her residence before the expiration of a license granted under this chapter shall immediately notify the secretary of state of his or her new residence address.

A change of address notification … may include notification by personally appearing at a branch office of the secretary of state … or a notification by mail, telephone, electronically, by submitting a voter registration application...or by any other means prescribed by the secretary of state.

Handlebars on Motorcycles

MCL 257.611(a) states: A person shall not operate on a public highway of this state a motorcycle or moped equipped with handlebars that are higher than 30 inches from the lowest point of the undepressed saddle to the highest point of the handle grip of the operator.

Vehicle Crash Notification/Duties

MCL 257.619 states: The driver of a vehicle who knows or who has reason to believe that he or she has been involved in an accident with an individual or with another vehicle that is operated or attended by another individual shall do all of the following:

(a) Give his or her name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is operating, including the name and address of the owner, to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided.

(b) Exhibit his or her operator's or chauffeur's license to a police officer, individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided.

(c) Render to any individual injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or arrange for or provide transportation to any injured individual.

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. If you have any questions on any specific topic, you may always email me your questions to rmartin@co.lake.mi.us.