A plan from state Rep. John Roth creating more flexibility for drivers of historic vehicles across the state was approved on Tuesday by the House Transportation Committee.
House Bill 5882 extends the period of use for historic vehicles on Michigan roads from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Currently, historic vehicles are only allowed to drive on Michigan roads in the month of August or to club events. Roth, of Traverse City, said the measure is a common-sense reform as exhibitions, parades, festivals and recreational opportunities span throughout the summer months and expanding the operational timeframe removes current barriers.
“We made an exception for the Dream Cruise in Oakland County several years ago,” Roth said. “But what about the other 82 counties in Michigan? What about people who wish to drive down the Old Mission Wine Trail in their historic vehicle during the summer? Or through the Tunnel of Trees in Harbor Springs?
“Michiganders love our cars and we’re the car state. There is a lot of tourism benefit moving throughout Michigan when our cars are on the move – and this unlocks that potential while recognizing that there are a few perfectly good months besides August where these vehicles can be on the road and at shows or festivals for people to enjoy.”
The Michigan Vehicle Code defines a historic vehicle as one that is over 25 years old and is owned solely as a collector’s item or for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades and similar uses – but is not used for general transportation.
Individuals can register a vehicle that meets these provisions, but Roth noted that many people are choosing not to register them as historic vehicles because of the current overly restrictive language regarding their use.
HB 5882 now moves to the full House for consideration.
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