ASK A TROOPER: Can I exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle?

Guest Columnist

Here’s another question I get asked quite frequently and think most of the motoring public doesn’t know the answer until they get stopped by our “Blue Goose” and handed a speeding ticket: “Can I speed to pass another car?”

The short answer is, “No!”

The Michigan Vehicle Code makes no exception to the posted or unposted speed limit when it comes to passing another vehicle.

We’ve all been behind that slow-poke who appears to be lumbering down the road, enjoying the scenery of Northern Michigan at say 10 to 15 mph below the speed limit. We begin to get anxious after following that person for endless miles, our heartbeat accelerates, our palms start to sweat and we believe there is no hope in sight that we’ll ever make our tee time, lunch appointment or get to work on time.

When these moments happen, please keep in mind that you CANNOT exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle. As frustrating as it may be, I suggest you wait patiently until the pass can be legally made and without exceeding the speed limit. Or better yet, just pull over onto the shoulder, grab a coffee or soft drink, take several deep breaths, meditate, whatever it takes to get your blood pressure back to normal.

Exceeding the speed limit to pass another motorist is no different than simply disobeying the speed limit altogether. Needless to say it is extremely dangerous and hazardous to other vehicles on the road. I can’t begin to recall how many times I have been forced to take evasive action by oncoming traffic that has attempted to pass other cars in very unsafe circumstances.

As always, be safe out there. With the impending spring weather upon us, remember the speed limits are still in place and are there for everyone’s safety!

Submit questions to Michigan State Police Trooper Dave Prichard at or call the MSP Cadillac Post at (231) 779-6040.

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