Michigan Motorist Goals
Our goal is to have all roads posted at a realistic 85th percentile speed. All scientific studies and evidence show this is the safest speed for roads. These speeds should be determined by careful engineering and traffic studies as outlined in the NMA's Model Speed Zoning Law.
We want a "Fair Motoring Act" that would prohibit setting speeds more than 5MPH below the 85th percentile speed.
Michigan Fair Motoring Act
An act to ensure Michigan Motorists are treated fairly.
Road Speed Limits shall be based upon the engineering principle of setting them to the 85th percentile speed. A traffic study conducted by traffic engineers shall be performed to determine the 85th percentile speed for a given roadway. The speed limit posted for that road shall not be lower the 85th percentile speed. The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists drive on a given road unaffected by slower traffic or poor weather. This speed indicates the speed that most motorists on the road consider safe and reasonable under ideal conditions. It is a good guideline for the appropriate speed limit for that road.
- This is the way the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) specifies speed limits should be set. The MUTCD has been adopted by Michigan. Traffic studies have shown repeatedly that setting speed limits to the 85th percentile is the best way to have safe and efficient travel.
- Studies have shown that speed limits set below the 85th percentile speed 1.) Do not yield an increase in safety 2.) Create a greater variation of vehicle speeds on a given roadway. 3.) Are generally ignored by motorists unless extreme enforcement is used.
- Many speed limits are set below the 85th percentile speed with the belief that this will cause drivers to slow down. Posting a low speed limit on a road creates very little change in the speed of drivers unless there is strict enforcement. Strict enforcement is a poor allocation of valuable police resources because it does not have a safety benefit.
- Many speed limits are posted too low for revenue enhancement. This is a hardship on drivers who are not performing an action that should be penalized. If we set realistic limits we can target enforcement on those drivers that are truly driving an unsafe speed.
- Speed limits should inform motorists what the safe speed to travel a given roadway is. Posting low limits teaches motorists to not trust them.
- Michigan Motorists deserve to have speed limits based upon traffic science and scientific studies.
If a traffic study has not been performed in the prior five years the speed limit for a given roadway shall be considered prima fascia. A motorist ticketed for speeding on a roadway that has not had a valid traffic study in the five years prior to the infraction date may use as a defense that fact during a civil infraction hearing.
If no study has been done the speed limit is arbitrary and should be considered as such in court.
If a valid traffic study has been performed and the speed limit is posted below the 85th percentile speed a motorist receiving a ticket for speeding between the posted limit and the 85th percentile speed shall not be fined more than $25 and no record of the offense may be placed upon the driver's Michigan Drivers record nor may the offense be used by any person in establishing automobile insurance eligibility or automobile insurance rates.
- Drivers should not be penalized with insurance surcharges or large fines when roads are intentionally posted with too low a speed limit.
- This still allows some speed limits to be posted low but minimizes the hardship on Motorists.
Motorists found responsible for speeding on a limited access divided highways for a speed of 99mph or less shall not be fined more than $25 and no record of the offense may be placed upon the driver's Michigan Drivers record nor may the offense be used by any person in establishing automobile insurance eligibility or automobile insurance rates.
- Today's freeways and modern cars can safely travel at higher speeds.
- Police could still issue careless and reckless driving tickets as well as tickets for violating the basic speed law when necessary.
- Most motorists will drive a reasonable speed for the conditions. Those that don't can still be ticketed for the $25 ticket or for other infractions.
- This will allow most motorists to drive at a safe speed when traffic is light on our interstate highways while preserving the ability of the state to set a maximum limit that does not shock or offend the uninformed.
- This could be applied to rural interstates and/or daytime only.
- Police would still have the built in speeding reason to pull over suspicious vehicles.
- Montana had a similar law in the past that fined drivers only $5 for speeds up to 99 MPH on interstate highways. The law created little fanfare and did not lead to an increase in fatalities.
A citation or civil infraction determination for exceeding a lawful maximum speed limit by 10 or fewer miles per hour shall not be considered by any person in establishing automobile insurance eligibility or automobile insurance rates.
- There is no data to show that drivers with minor speeding tickets are any more likely to be in an accident than those without any.
- Insurance companies are increasing motorist's rates without an increase in their risk.
- 257.529c of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code already has this provision on the books but it is limited to roadways posted at 55 MPH. 257.629c has been ruled unenforceable by Attorney General Frank Kelley because the insurance code had not been updated when the law was passed.
- This is used by Colorado and other states to allow police to ticket motorists and get the fine money without costing the motorist $100s of dollars in insurance charges.
- Speed limits in school zones, construction zones, downtown pedestrian areas, etc. may be set below the 85th percentile speed.
- Speed limits may be rounded to the nearest 5MPH. Example: if the 85th percentile speed is 47 MPH the speed limit may be posted at 45mph or 50mph.
- Other factors, such as hidden dangers, as spelled out in the MUTCD would allow speed limits to be posted lower than the 85th percentile speed.
Motorists contesting traffic tickets shall have full rights to discovery and motions at a Formal Hearing. They shall have the same rights as someone would at a misdemeanor trial including the right to a jury trial. They shall be presumed not responsible for the civil infraction and the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that they were responsible.
- With huge Insurance Surcharges and importance of driving motorists should be given due process.
- The Jury trial provision could be dropped as a compromise.
All moving traffic citations must be issued by a police officer that witnessed the violation shortly after that observation. Automated ticketing machines such as photo radar and red light cameras are not to be used for enforcement of traffic laws.
- Police officers can make the human determination of when to issue a citation after factoring in all the evidence.
- A machine can not replace the human judgement of a Police Officer.
- The Police make many other discoveries during traffic stops that will not be made by a machine.
- Machines are generally used for revenue enhancement and not safety.
- There has been no correlation between accident rates and machine use.
- People don't like them.
- They have been a failure in many communities who tried them.
- There are several due process issues.
- Click here for more detailed information.
Unmarked Police Cars
Police shall not use an "unmarked" police car for routine traffic enforcement.
- Mostly used in speed traps for revenue enhancement.
- Visual presence of a marked car has a much greater affect.
- Motorists should know it is really a Police Officer when they are pulled over. People have been robbed and killed by fake police.
Points shall not be added to a motorist's record nor shall a motorist's license be taken away for non-driving related offenses.
Punish individual directly for what they have done.
A motorist's vehicle shall not be forfeited due to any driving related offense.
- Punishes entire family.
- Put offender in jail if they won't stop driving.
- Difficulties with leased or financed vehicles.
Revenues from traffic fines shall go MDOT and be earmarked for state highway road improvements. Funding for police, courts, or municipalities shall not be based on the number of tickets or amount of money collected.
- When you tie police or municipality revenue to tickets issued they will stop ticketing based on safety and instead ticket for revenue enhancement.
- Directing money to road improvements will make roads safer.
- 1998 HB5829, is similar.