Truckers Paying Millions In Illegally Written Citations.
Seasonal weight restrictions
Seasonal weight restrictions (Frost Laws) have existed in Michigan since the fifties and have traditionally lasted for a period of 3 months. These seasonal restrictions go into place to help prevent damage to roads caused by heavy equipment when the ground is soft from the spring thaw.
Over the years, technological improvements have provided tools to detect when frost is present in the ground. The result has been a lifting of the effective dates of the frost laws when frost is no longer a threat to roadways. As you may imagine, this created confusion as there was no uniform method of communicating these changes to the public.
In 2007 this issue was introduced to the state legislature. In
2008, in response to this issue, the state legislature passed a law requiring
local (enforcing) municipalities to post their frost law information on the homepage of their website or the website
of a statewide road association of which it is a member.
This is where the problem begin. For one reason or another, someone in Wayne County decided that it was no longer necessary to post road signs informing truck drivers that frost laws were in effect and thus, ceased the activity of posting signs on the roadway.
The very next year, during the seasonal weight restriction, Wayne County authorities and local police departments began ticketing drivers for violating the frost law for which they posted no signs. Yes, this is like writing a failure to stop for a stop sign that is not present.
Most of these tickets reach the thousand dollar range quite a few of them reach the multi thousand dollar range and a small percentage of them, which includes the one that my driver received, was more than $4500. This is absurd. What makes matters worse is when you try to assert your rights and inform the officers and prosecutors of their error, they simply become belligerent or tell you that it's already been ruled on or insist that you're going to waste more money by fighting the ticket. They do everything in their power to keep you out of court including bartering downward to reach a number that you might be willing to pay.
While defending our Melvindale ticket, we were threatened with arrest by Prosecutor Coogan. It was then that we realized that this issue might be much more than a singular annoyance. We took it upon ourselves to do some research and discovered quite a few items that we think should help us put a stop to this illegal action. Please take a look at the additional pages on the site for the information that we have discovered.
If it is decided by the courts that MCL257.726 stands and proper notice via road signs is required, then each participating agency will have engaged in a violation of this law. And if I understand that correctly, then they will have broken the law or at the least, engaged in an unlawful act AFTER being duly informed.
Commercial trucks are the only vehicles on the roadways that would be hit during the frost law enforcement. Targeting truckers for this illegal enforcement is just heartless. There are drivers that have chosen to quit their jobs rather than pay these outrageous fines and others that have been fired. For those drivers that are forced to pay, that money is taken from their families. This situation needs to end immediately.