Wittenberg Introduces Bill to Repeal Outdated Obstructed Roadway Law

Left your house on a highway? Antiquated 1925 law levies $5 fine for that.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

LANSING — House Bill 6080, introduced today by state Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), would repeal an outdated 1925 law that fines an individual who “leaves a building or other property on a highway” $5 each day that the highway is obstructed. The bill is one of several being introduced by House members to update Michigan’s legal code and to get rid of obsolete laws.

“A constituent who had seen my work to repeal other outdated laws in Michigan brought me the idea to remove this law,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “While we all agree that littering is bad for our state, and no one wants our roadways blocked or obstructed, this law has outlived its usefulness. I don’t know if anyone has ever seen a building blocking a road, and even if they had, a $5 fine isn’t much of a deterrent. I am proud that my constituents are so engaged and willing to come to me with ideas for legislation.”

Rep. Wittenberg conferred with the Michigan Department of Transportation to determine that the 1925 law was, indeed, obsolete before introducing his bill. Michigan has other laws that preclude people from blocking roadways or lines of sight with a fence or requiring the removal of logs or other debris that make driving dangerous. Those laws wouldn’t be affected by the repeal of the law Rep. Wittenberg has proposed.

“I believe that this is a great example of how the democratic process works,” said Wittenberg. “No one benefits from having useless laws on the books, so when constituents reach out to me with bill ideas like this one, I take their ideas seriously. I am honored to have such involved citizens as my neighbors.”