Michigan approves rolling stock, road safety rules

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/17/2012

In the hours before Michigan lawmakers wrapped up their work for the year they approved multiple bills of interest to truck drivers. They include rolling stock rules and road safety.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday, Dec. 13, to approve two bills that are supposed to clarify the definition of rolling stock in sales-tax and use-tax exemption to include aftermarket parts added to trucks and trailers operating interstate, such as in-cab heaters, auxiliary power units and GPS devices.

The bill package now moves to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. House lawmakers already approved them.

One bill would expand a sales-tax exemption on purchases or leases of rolling stock by an interstate operation. HB5444 would apply the exemption to any equipment directly used in a truck or trailer’s operation.

The other bill – HB5445 – would apply the same exemption from the use tax for the storage, use or consumption of rolling stock.

According to the legislative analysis, the changes sought in the bills would result in a “likely minimal amount” of lost revenue for the state.

Gov. Snyder signed another bill into law last week that’s intended to improve safety on roadways. Previously SB403, the new law took effect immediately.

The new law authorizes doctors to warn the state that a patient might be a danger on roads. The change affects personal license holders and CDL holders.

Physicians or optometrists are 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 are also required to recommend a period of license suspension.

The recommended suspension period is at least six months for motorists and at least 12 months for truck drivers. Reinstatements for affected drivers will 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 cannot be liable for failure to notify the state about any potential driving problems for patients.

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

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