Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed a measure permitting
longer aggregate haulers on Michigan state roads.
The legislation extends the allowable length of those trucks
from 59 feet to 65 feet.
Currently, there is a 59-foot limit on the length of
vehicles. But car haulers, logging trucks and recreational vehicles are among
the vehicles already exempt from the requirement.
The bill – HB4358 – adds trucks hauling construction
materials to the list.
It also eliminates a court’s discretion and institutes a
flat fine of $200 per axle to be charged for trucks that are overloaded by less
than 4,000 pounds.
“There has been a lot of abuse,” said state Rep. Gene
DeRossett, R-Manchester, asserting that courts often fine trucking companies
thousands of dollars for “overloads” when the truck’s load only is simply
poorly distributed resulting in a violation of the axle load limit.
“This bill clarifies the definition of what is a misload and
what is an overload.”
The legislation originally called for extending the length
limit for all trucks on local roads to 65 feet but was amended to solely apply
to those carrying such items as sand or gravel.
The changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2006.