Michigan bills cover road safety concerns

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 8/17/2012

Michigan lawmakers could soon consider a variety of bills that cover road safety concerns.

One bill would prohibit law enforcement from issuing tickets generated from automated devices, such as ticket cameras.

An exception would be made for the State Police to enforce truck rules.

Sponsored by Rep. Roy Schmidt, R-Grand Rapids, HB5454 would forbid the use of automated ticketing machines to enforce moving violations and speeding. Instead, police could only issue citations if they are at the scene when the violation occurs.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports efforts to limit ticket cameras. OOIDA officials say the focus on the revenue-generating devices ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer has said the goal should be to keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible. He has also said that communities would be better served to pursue “intelligent traffic lights that actually monitor traffic and are triggered by traffic flow.”

Another bill addresses concerns about safety near work zones. Sponsored by Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, SB1192 would prohibit passing another vehicle within one mile of a highway work zone. “No passing” signage alerting drivers of the rule would also be required to be posted two miles before the work zone begins.

A separate bill would put in place a procedure for drivers to follow during roadside stops at night. Sponsored by Sen. Judith Emmons, R-Sheridan, SB1231 would mandate truckers and others who are pulled over by police to turn on their interior lights.

The requirement would be imposed starting one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.

Violators would face $100 fines, in addition to any other violation.

One more bill puts more responsibility on anyone involved in a traffic accident with a young driver. Sponsored by Rep. Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek, HB5716 would require a driver “who knows or who has reason to believe” that he or she has been involved in an accident with someone who is under age 18 to contact the teen’s parent or guardian, a police officer, or both.

The bills are in committee.

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

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