Michigan bills for reducing gridlock, advising truckers of ‘frost laws’

| 12/10/2008

With time winding down on the legislative session in Michigan, there is a late push to pass bills intended to reduce gridlock caused by wrecks and to notify truckers about seasonal weight restrictions.

The House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would require getting drivable wrecked vehicles off the road. It is awaiting consideration on the House floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, the measure – HB6689 – would mandate that drivers – or licensed passengers – remove their vehicles from traffic lanes, as long as the vehicles are still drivable and no serious injuries were suffered. Failure to move vehicles would result in $105 fines.

Advocates for the requirement say that studies have shown that more than 20 percent of wrecks are secondary wrecks that occur because of drivers reacting to a previous collision or because of a backup situation.

The Senate approved another bill that is intended to help notify truckers about “frost laws.” Sponsored by Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, the measure would require county road commissions and the Michigan Department of Transportation to post on their Web sites the dates of seasonal truck weight restrictions and the roads they apply to.

The bill – SB1525 – is in the House Transportation Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor