What Michigan's Tough Work Zone Laws Could Cost You

May 1, 2012 - Andy's Law broadened in 2008 Public Acts 296 and 297 of 2008 impose fines of up to $7,500 in fines and 15 years in jail, for motorists who injure or kill anyone in a road construction work zone. Previously, under Andy's Law, similar penalties were applicable if a motorist injured or killed a road (or highway) worker.

House Bill 4468 (2008 PA 296), which was introduced by Rep. Pam Byrnes, extends the penalties to motorists who hit anyone in a work zone, and House Bill 4469 (2008 PA 297), which was introduced by Rep. Barb Byrum, provides sentencing guidelines for motorists who cause injury or death to another person in a work zone.

In Michigan, you now risk more than just a speeding ticket if you go too fast - you also face tougher penalties than ever.  Here are the penalties under Michigan law that impact driving in work zones:

Doubled fines

In 1997, state lawmakers doubled the fines for speeding in work zones.

More points

Public Act 149 of 2002 increased the number of points assessed for speeding in a work zone:

  • 3 points for speeding 10 mph or less over the posted limit

  • 4 points for speeding more than 10 mph but not more than 15 mph over the limit

  • 5 points for speeding more than 15 mph over the limit

Motorists who have accumulated 12 or more points in a two-year period will be required to undergo a driver assessment reexamination with the Secretary of State's Office. Depending on the outcome of the reexamination, the driver's license may be restricted, suspended or revoked.

Increased insurance rates

When drivers have points assessed to their driver records, their insurance rates generally increase. Michigan law allows insurers to add a surcharge to the insurance policy of drivers with poor driving records to cover the anticipated costs associated with high accident risk.

Sign reads injure, kill a worker $7500 plus 15 years

Jail and fines

Public Act 103, known as "Andy's Law," went into effect Oct. 1, 2001. The law creates penalties of up to one year in prison for injuring and up to 15 years in prison for killing a highway construction or maintenance worker. It also imposes a maximum penalty of $7,500. The law is named for Andrew Lefko, a 19-year-old who was left paralyzed after being hit while working on I-275 in Metro Detroit.

In 2003, Andy's Law was strengthened by the passage of Public Act 315. Now, work zones are marked with "Work Zone Begins" and "End Road Work" signs. "Begin Work Convoy" and "End Work Convoy" signs are used for mobile crews traveling along roads as workers paint lane lines or patch potholes. Speed limit signs also are required in work zones marked with "Work Zone Begins" signs.

P.A. 315 lowers the threshold at which driving offenses can trigger Andy's Law penalties. The law now includes penalties for driving offenses such as careless driving or speeding, which are considered civil offenses. The law also applies to criminal offenses such as reckless or drunken driving.