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Large trailers need different mirrors

An email I received from a local motorist stated:

“It’s that time of year when more people are pulling camping trailers throughout the state. I travel a lot between Rogers City and Escanaba in the (Upper Peninsula) and Grand Rapids to the south. I notice many people pulling their trailers with the wrong size mirrors that don’t let them see what’s happening in back of them, which is a violation. Why don’t more Troopers and Sheriff’s Deputies pull over these people and give them a warning or a ticket. I’ve been cut off by many of these people, because they can’t see what’s happening.”

Most commonly, I witness that exact situation with people pulling camper trailers or enclosed trailers for private use.

Those larger trailers tend to block the drivers’ view to the rear of the trailer.

That can result in the driver being unable to properly see other motorists behind them, causing the driver pulling the trailer to cut other motorists off unintentionally.

Mirrors are discussed MCL 257.708. This statute states: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle on a highway which is so constructed or loaded as to prevent the driver from obtaining a view of the highway to the rear by looking backward from the driver’s position, unless the vehicle is equipped with a mirror located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway to the rear of the vehicle…”

While having improper mirrors is a crime, it is not a crime that is an aggressively enforced violation throughout Michigan.

There are many other violations, such as alcohol or drug use and speeding, that are major contributors to traffic accidents.

I am not saying having improper mirrors will not be enforced in our area.

If a person is pulled over for improper or missing mirrors, they can be charged with a civil infraction and approximately a $100 to 150 fine through the court.

Ashley Simpson is the community service trooper for the Michigan State Police-Alpena Post. If you have a question for Trooper Simpson, you can email her at asktroopersimpson@gmail.com or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police-Alpena Post, 3283 W. Washington Ave., Alpena, Mich., 49707.