Under HB 4852, which is currently working its way through the State Senate, several motor carrier exemptions will be repealed. MITA has been directly engaged in working on this voluminous piece of legislation to make sure that the industry’s interests are protected at all levels. However, many of these changes are required due to the fact that federal regulations require that any state motor carrier exemptions claimed after 1988 must now be compatible with federal rules, otherwise, they are not acceptable.
April 11, 1988, is the effective date for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act that established funding provisions for state motor carrier operations. If the exemptions were created after 1988 they would have to be compatible with the federal regulations in order to apply. Any state not in compliance would have the threat of losing federal funding.
By working with the bill sponsors as well as the Michigan Trucking Association and the Michigan State Police, MITA staff was able to secure changes in the legislation, which will protect numerous pieces of current law that are helpful to the industry. One area where the industry had lost ground, but gained it back again through MITA’s efforts, dealt with the local truck enforcement legislation that was passed in 2000. HB 4852 had in effect reversed many of the gains that the industry had fought for five years ago, including training requirements for local enforcement officials, the waiving of non-out-of-service violations (14 day rule) as well as the restriction of multiple municipalities issuing tickets in the same work day. Each of these items has been removed from the legislation and are still allowed for by law.
One area where this legislation seems to have a positive effect for the industry would be with asphalt hauling equipment. In essence, the state guidelines that are being removed were much more stringent than the federal requirements to which this legislation requires Michigan to move.
A significant area of change for the industry is in the area of truck drivers’ hours of service. Since 1990 Michigan had a construction truck drivers’ hours of service exemption, which under federal guidelines (explained above) must now be repealed. Michigan, and all other states will now follow all federal hours of service guidelines and will have no state specific exemptions or requirements. Click here to view the graph that specifies the changes in truck drivers’ hours of service that will be made once this legislation becomes law.