Michigan responds to September 11 with new hazmat requirements, increased hazmat penalties

| 6/7/2002

Lawmakers and the governor passed a pair of bills requiring a set of fingerprints by all hazmat license applicants and increasing the penalty for those who transport hazardous material without the proper endorsements or the proper placards. In addition to the current $500 fine, penalties could include up to one year imprisoment. The new laws are in response to the September 11 attacks and the federal government's USA PATRIOT Act (which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism).

Additionally, lawmakers are moving quickly on a bill that could change requirements for obtaining and maintaining driver's licenses and CDLs. SB1232, introduced and referred to committee April 17, has already passed the Senate and House, and has been returned with amendments to the Senate, where it's well on its way to final passage.

The bill, which would take effect Oct. 1, 2002, would require the Secretary of State to check with a national register before issuing an original, renewal or upgrade of a CDL to an out-of-state applicant. It also would require new procedures for the application and renewal of all driver's licenses, and require the Secretary of State to immediately revoke or suspend all vehicle group designations of the any driver's license if they are notified of the driver's failure to follow railroad safety precautions. For bill status, call (517) 373-0135.