Michigan OKs bill advising truckers of ‘frost laws’; gridlock bill fails

| 1/5/2009

When the curtain came down on the 2008 regular session in Michigan, two bills that were intended to notify truckers about seasonal weight restrictions and to reduce gridlock caused by wrecks had different outcomes.

A bill on its way to Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s desk is intended to help notify truckers about “frost laws.” Sponsored by Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, the measure – SB1525 – 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 effort cleared the statehouse after the Senate signed off on House changes clarifying that any local authority without a Web site must post the information on a statewide road association site of which it is a member.

While the frost law measure advanced to the governor before the Dec. 19 session ending date, a bill that sought to require moving drivable wrecked vehicles off the road did not.

A separate bill, HB6689, that died in the House called for mandating 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 have resulted in $105 fines.

Advocates for the requirement said that studies have shown that more than 20 percent of wrecks are secondary wrecks, which occur because of drivers reacting to an existing accident scene or because of a backup situation.

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

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor