bill aims to allow construction speed cameras | Michigan

(The Central Square) – The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a bill to make optional the installation of cameras in construction zones to impose fines on speeding drivers.

Representative Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Twp, sponsored Bill 5272.

“What should the body count go before I take it seriously?” If it saves a life, all the money is worth it, ”Eisen said later.

The Michigan State Police (MSP), Department of Transportation, a council of county commissioners, or some other entity with local jurisdiction may allow the cameras.

Here’s how the plan would work. A sign placed near the work area would warn that an automated speed control system is monitoring drivers. This system must clearly capture the vehicle’s license plate, location, date and time.

When construction workers are present, speeding just 1 mile over the speed limit could result in a civil offense ranging from a written warning to a civil fine of up to $ 250 for repeated violations.

The bill would create a rebuttable presumption that the owner of the vehicle was the driver responsible for the offense. The presumption is rebuttable by one of the following:

  • If the registered owner of the vehicle files an affidavit by regular mail with the court clerk that he was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.
  • If the registered owner of the vehicle testifies in open court under oath that he was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.
  • If a certified copy of a police report showing that the vehicle was reported stolen before the time of the alleged violation is presented before the appearance date set out on the summons.

Quotes issued would be sent by first class mail to the registered vehicle owner’s address through the Secretary of State. If the registered owner does not show up by the return date indicated in the quote, a copy must be sent by certified mail with acknowledgment of receipt requested. If the person does not show up by either of the return dates indicated in the copies of the citation, the citation should be executed by service.

The court could issue an arrest warrant against a person who does not appear within the time limit set on the summons if a sworn complaint is filed with the court.

A recorded image indicating a violation should be available for inspection in any proceedings to determine responsibility for the violation and should be destroyed 90 days after the citation is finalized.

The fines would be as follows:

  • First offense: A written warning only or a civil offense with a civil fine of up to $ 100.
  • Second offense: A civil offense with a civil fine of up to $ 100.
  • Third or subsequent offense: A civil offense with a fine of up to $ 250.

Representative Mike Mueller, R-Linden, warned that the wording of the bill left a lot of things unexplained.

“I think we could try to fine-tune it a bit so that it doesn’t place an unnecessary burden on people who commit civil offenses when traveling north and have to come all the way back to travel 5 miles. in a construction zone, ”Mueller said.

MSP Sargent Nicole McGhee said the ministry was neutral on the bill but highlighted a few concerns including whether the driver or registered owner should be fined, how to ensure postal quotes reach the target person and a balance between education and application.

“We’re issuing quotes to change behavior,” McGhee said. “And if drivers get citations 10 to 15 days later, does it really have an impact on driver behavior? “

Representative Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, said he has counted five deaths of construction workers in Michigan in the past year, most of whom would not be stopped by the bill because drivers were drunk, stoned or distracted. It is also unclear how the cameras would know when workers are present so that they do not impose fines on innocent drivers who fail to discover the ticket for more than a week.

“I think you have completely shifted the onus to the person who was presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Johnson said. “I think it’s problematic.

Lance Binoniemi, vice president of government affairs at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA), supported the bill.

“In 2020, there were 4,035 work area accidents in Michigan alone that resulted in 14 deaths and 1,050 work area injuries,” Binoniemi said in a statement. Ensuring the safety of our road workers is a top priority for MITA.


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