Michigan truckers say only state can levy fines

| Friday, January 18, 2002

According to a story in the Detroit News, four trucking companies have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against local governments in southeastern Michigan. The companies say counties, cities and townships have no authority to fine truckers for violations and should repay fines imposed.

The lawsuit was filed against five counties, the city of Detroit and 28 other cities and townships in the area. The suit argues that a 1995 federal law does not permit local governments to enforce ordinances on trucks and that safety enforcement is the state's responsibility. Local officials argue they need to enforce truck safety regulations because the state doesn't have the capacity to do the job adequately. Truckers, however, view it as a money grab. In 2000, Michigan passed a law that allows local governments to keep 70 percent of truck-fine revenues with the rest going to libraries.

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