Michigan adjusts spring weight restrictions

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Feb. 24, 2023:

Michigan updates 'frost law' weight restrictions

Updated Michigan spring weight restrictionsMichigan's updated spring weight restrictions went into effect Friday morning in the shaded area of the state pictured here.MDOTThe Michigan Department of Transportation continues to adjust annual spring weight restriction areas in what it calls its annual move to protect roads.

Effective as of 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, weight restrictions will be imposed and enforced on all state trunkline highways within the following area of Michigan:

Highways north of a line on M-43 in the city of South Haven, then east on M-43 to US-131 in Kalamazoo County, then south on US-131 to I-94 in Kalamazoo County, then east on I-94 to I-69 in Calhoun County, then north on I-69 to I-96 in Lansing, then east on I-96 to M-59 in Livingston County, then east on M-59 ending at the I-94 interchange in Macomb County.

Highways south of a line on M-55 from the US-31 intersection in Manistee County east to M-66 in Missaukee County, then north on M-66 to M-55 in Missaukee County, then east on M-55 to the intersection of US-23 in Tawas in Iosco County.

The updated weight restrictions cover a smaller area of the state than what took effect earlier this month.

[Related: How to navigate 'frost laws' in northern states]

Bestpass partners with legal services firm

Toll payment management service Bestpass has partnered with ORDP (Open Road Drivers Plan), a provider of CDL legal protection services for truck drivers and fleets.

ORDP assists truck drivers and fleets with legal protection by connecting drivers with local licensed attorneys if they receive a traffic citation, such as speeding. With an ORDP membership plan, attorney fees, bond or bail postings, and appeal fees are covered by ORDP.

“This partnership with ORDP allows us to provide a streamlined solution for our customers for keeping their trucks on the road,” said Jason Walker, Bestpass chief revenue officer. “Small to mid-size fleets and owner-operators often don’t have the resources or time to deal with the headaches of managing tolls or legal proceedings. Their time is better spent focusing on their day-to-day operation or growing their business.”

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Through the partnership, Bestpass customers will have integrated access to ORDP services through their Bestpass account. Bestpass customers that sign up for ORDP, or existing ORDP customers that add Bestpass for toll management services, will have a bundled monthly payment with special pricing available through their Bestpass account.

With the integration, Bestpass will provide additional customer support for customers managing their ORDP membership plan or assistance uploading citations. 

Driver named Highway Angel for stopping to help woman, baby after crash

Thomas Itczak, a truck driver for ABF Freight, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping to help a woman and her baby when she lost control of her vehicle and ran off the road.

Thomas ItczakThomas ItczakOn Feb. 7 around 1:20 p.m., Itczak was driving westbound through Grainfield, Kansas, when he witnessed a vehicle, heading eastbound on a four-lane highway, leave the roadway and cross the median at a high rate of speed. The car then became airborne as it crossed the westbound lanes, past the road’s shoulder, into the grass.

“It happened right in front of me -- I thought somebody had a heart attack or something,” Itczak said.

He pulled over and ran to the crashed vehicle, which was damaged from the accident. The wheels were turned and bent, and the bumper was cracked.

“It was a young mother and a baby,” he said. “She lost control because the baby was crying -- she turned around to comfort the baby.”

Itczak got the baby out of her car seat and made sure the shaken and emotional mother could get out of the vehicle. He consoled her and together, they waited for police to arrive on the scene.

“There’s no way I could’ve just kept going,” Itczak said. “I had to stop to make sure the driver wasn’t incapacitated and call 911.”