The Michigan House and Senate convened but held no votes this week, so this report describes some bills that would revise traffic laws and other vehicle-related proposals.
Senate Bill 351: Require drivers slow down, move over for farm equipment
Introduced by Sen. Kim LaSata R-Bainbridge Township, to expand the duty for drivers to slow down and move over when passing pulled-over police and emergency vehicles, tow trucks, garbage trucks and maintenance and utility vehicles that have amber lights flashing, subject to a $400 fine. The bill would extend this to tractors, farm-combines and other farm vehicles stopped on the side of a road. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5356: Ban police pulling over driver for chipped windshield only
Introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson R-Wayland, to prohibit police from stopping and inspecting a motor vehicle or writing a ticket solely on the basis that the motor vehicle has a chipped or cracked windshield. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6018: Add freeway traffic flow lessons to drivers ed
Introduced by Rep. Nate Shannon D-Sterling Heights, to require drivers education courses to include class time on freeway rights-of-way and proper traffic flow. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4139: Make jaywalking a civil offense only
Introduced by Rep. Beau LaFave R-Iron Mountain, to establish that jaywalking (“improperly crossing a road or street”) is a civil offense subject to fine only. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4179: Expand local road agency authority to designate “HOV lanes”
Introduced by Rep. Tim Sneller D-Burton, to give the agency with jurisdiction over local roads the power to designate a lane on a highway for the exclusive use of high-occupancy vehicles. House Bill 4178 would give similar authority to the state Department of Transportation. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4660: Revise funeral procession traffic rule
Introduced by Rep. Robert Bezotte R-Howell, to require vehicles in a funeral procession to have specific hazard warning lights described in the bill. Passed 105 to 0 in the House, referred to committee in the Senate.
Senate Bill 560: Regulate “automated delivery devices”
Introduced by Sen. Jeff Irwin D-Ann Arbor, to set standards and require registration for semi-autonomous “automated delivery devices,” defined as one up to 40 inches wide that weighs up to 400 pounds including cargo, can go a maximum of 25 mph, has an automated driving system, and is used to transport goods (not people) or perform services on a sidewalk or other areas open to pedestrian traffic, or on a highway or street. The bill establishes equipment, control, liability insurance requirements and more.
House Bill 5363: Authorize prepaid Mackinac Bridge pass system
Introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson R-Wayland, to authorize an optional prepaid electronic pass system for paying Mackinac Bridge fares. Note: The Bridge is reportedly ineligible to join a multi-state “E-Z Pass” toll collection system because the volume of traffic is comparatively low. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5882; Expand “historic vehicles” season
Introduced by Rep. John Roth R-Traverse City, To revise a law that limits the use of "historic vehicles" on roads to August only, so as to expand this to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. These are defined as a vehicle more than 25 years old that is owned solely as a collector's item and for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, and similar uses, including mechanical testing. Passed in the House, referred to committee in the Senate.
House Bill 5510: Let truckers bypass backed-up weigh stations
Introduced by Rep. Luke Meerman R-Coopersville, to permit trucks to bypass a highway weigh station if the ramp to the weigh station is full. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4165: Let tractors cross Mackinac Bridge if fast enough
Introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson R-Wayland. To allow tractors and farm equipment to cross the Mackinac Bridge if they can get up to and maintain the minimum required speed. This is one of four bills making the proposal, all referred to House or Senate committees with no further action at this time.
House Bill 4983: Revise child car seat rule
Introduced by Rep. Bronna Kahle R-Adrian, to base child car seat regulations on height and weight, not just age. To avoid penalties a driver would have to present evidence of having received training car seat use from a “certified child passenger safety technician.” Such a certification does not appear to exist in Michigan law, but a private organization appears to offer one at a cost. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.