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.
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.