Michigan bills cover overweight trucks, CDLs

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lawmakers in Michigan continue to work despite the late calendar date. Issues that are drawing consideration include various issues of interest to truck drivers.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted Tuesday, Nov. 27, to advance a bill that would revise certain overweight truck rules. Specifically, SB968 would give courts discretion in imposing penalties on trucks that are not overweight overall, but may have one or more axles carrying more weight than allowed.

Michigan law now requires courts to impose a $200 fine for axle weight violations up to 4,000 pounds.

Sponsored by Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, the bill would apply the change only to loads that are overweight on as many as three axles. It now awaits further consideration on the Senate floor before it can move to the House.

A separate bill on the move would allow service personnel returning from duty to exchange their military CDL for a state-issued CDL without requiring a driving test. However, the written portion of the test would not be waived.

Eligible applicants must certify that they met all of the federal licensing requirements during the past two years.

The House Military and Veterans Affairs and Home Security Committee voted to advance the bill – HB5936 – to the House floor.

One more bill is intended to improve safety on roadways. Awaiting a House floor vote, the bill would authorize doctors to warn the state that a patient might be a danger on roads. The change would affect personal license holders and CDL holders.

Physicians or optometrists would be allowed, not required, to notify the secretary of state or a third party about a patient’s “mental and physical qualifications” to operate a vehicle safely. Doctors would also be required to recommend a period of license suspension.

The recommended suspension period would have to be at least six months for motorists and at least 12 months for truck drivers. Reinstatements for affected drivers would cost $125.

Also, medical professionals couldn’t be held liable for referring a patient or a client to the state, which can then decide to take away their right to drive. In addition, doctors would not be liable for failure to notify the state about any potential driving problems for patients.

If approved on the House floor, SB403 would move to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers already it

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

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