As an advocate for safer work zones, MITA helped craft and introduce legislation cutting down on the number of construction zone signs and also giving flaggers legal authority to override a traffic control device. The bills were passed out of Senate Committee this week, thanks to testimony delivered by Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
According to HB 5766, MDOT would no longer be required to post “fines doubled in work zones” and “injure or kill a worker” signs. This was a recommendation originating from a joint group of the State Police, MIOSHA, MDOT and MITA as a way to create safer work zones and reduce worker exposure to oncoming traffic.
Another bill, HB 5351 would give trained traffic control regulators legal authority to direct traffic in opposition to an existing traffic control device like a stoplight or sign. Surprisingly, after reviewing existing law, it became clear that motorists were able to legally disregard flaggers in construction zones because they had no statutory authority under the law.
These bills have already passed the House and must now go to the Senate floor for final consideration. MITA is hoping to have the bills approved before the end of the year.
If you have any questions please contact Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Keith Ledbetter, Director of Legislative Affairs at email@example.com; or by calling the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.