An amendment will be made in the near future to the Michigan transportation law: 1949 PA 300, entitled “Michigan Violation Code” (Section 724(4) b, c, & d). This amendment will include several rule changes for drivers – including forgiveness for certain loads which are overweight in some circumstances.
Once passed, the law will read:
“Sec. 724. (4) Beginning January 1, 2006, if the court determines that the motor vehicle or the combination of vehicles was operated in violation of this section, the court shall impose a fine as follows:
(a) If the court determines that the motor vehicle or the combination of vehicles would not be lawful by a proper distribution of the load upon all the axles of the vehicle or the combination of vehicles, the court shall impose a fine or the violation according the the schedule provided in subsection (3).
(b) If the court determines that the motor vehicle or the combination of vehicles would be lawful by a proper distribution of the load upon all axles of the vehicle of the combination of (Senate Bill No. 968 as amended December 4, 2012) vehicles, but that 1 or more of the axles of the vehicle exceeded the maximum allowable permitted axle weight by MORE THAN 1,000 POUNDS BUT LESS THAN 4,000 POUNDS, the court may impose a misload fine of $200 per axle. Not more than 3 axles shall be used in calculating the fine to be imposed under this subdivision. This subdivision does not apply to a vehicle subject to the maximum loading provision of section 722(12) in violation of a special permit issued under section 725. OR TO A VEHICLE FOR WHICH A FINE IS CALCULATED UNDER TEH SCHEDULE IN SUBSECTION (3) WOULD BE LESS THAN THE FINE AS CALCULATED UNDER THIS SUBSECTION.
(c ) IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT THE MOTOR VEHICLE OR THE COMBINATION OF VEHICLES WOULD MEET THE LOADING CONDITIONS SPECIFIED IN A SPECIAL PERMIT THAT WAS ISSUED UNDER SECTION 725 BY A PROPER DISTRIBUTION OF THE LOAD UPON ALL OF THE AXLES OF THE VEHICLE OF THE COMBINATION OF VEHICLES, BUT THAT 1 OR MORE AXLES OF THE VEHICLE EXCEEDED THE PERMITTED AXLE WEIGHT BY 1,000 POUNDS OR LESS, THE COURT SHALL IMPOSE A MISLOAD FINE OF $200.000 PER AXLE. NOT MORE THAN 3 AXLES SHALL BE USED IN CALCULATING THE FINE TO BE IMPOSED UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION. IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT THE LOAD WAS MISLOADED, THE CONDITIONS OF THE SPECIAL PERMIT REMAIN VALID. THE IMPOSITION OF A FINE DOES NOT VOID THE SPECIAL PERMIT.”
This change allows the courts to use some discretion when it comes to penalizing the drivers of trucks which aren’t necessarily completely overweight, but have one or more axles carrying more weight than permitted. A fine of $200 will now be informed due to this change for violations regarding axle weight above 1,000 and up to 4,000 pounds. However, this $200 fine may only be applied if the overall weight of the load is still legal.
The update to the “Michigan Violation Code” is much better for Michigan drivers in the event of having miscoded or overloaded axles. This change gives drivers the ability to avoid a $200 per-axle fine if the scheduled fine for excess weight happens to be less expensive.
These new rules are effective starting in October of 2013.