New Michigan laws cover rolling stock, road safety rules

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/2/2013

Lawmakers in Michigan spent the final days of 2012 routing bills to the governor for his signature. Among the issues of interest to truck drivers to be signed into law are rolling stock rules and road safety.

Two bills to get Gov. Rick Snyder’s endorsement 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 changes took effect immediately.

The first bill expands a sales-tax exemption on purchases or leases of rolling stock by an interstate operation. HB5444 applies the exemption to any equipment directly used in a truck or trailer’s operation.

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

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

Gov. Snyder signed into law last week another bill 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, but 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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