Snowplowers still liable for slips on uncleared pavement

Capital News Service
LANSING—Commercial snowplowing and de-icing companies will remain responsible for anyone who slips and falls on freshly plowed properties and parking lots. Rep. Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, who owns Yonker’s Landscaping Inc., had introduced a bill to remove the responsibility from snowplowing and de-icing services. The Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, recently voted against passing the measure on to the Senate. Contracts drawn up by property owners generally place two responsibilities on the snowplowing contractors: to service the property when called and to assume responsibility for patrons who slip and fall on the property. Supporters were disappointed the bill didn’t move to the full Senate.

Bill would help counties replace failing snow plows

Capital News Service
LANSING — Keweenaw County’s 30 road commission vehicles — which include snow plows and salt trucks — average 27 years old and 130,000 miles. The county’s oldest snow plows are from the 1970s and have over a quarter million miles on them, said Gregg Patrick, Keweenaw County Road Commission engineer. “Most county commissions are running their equipment twice the life they used to, and these can start to fail in the winter season,” Patrick said. Counties have trouble keeping roads safe and convenient for the public when their old equipment is failing and needs maintenance more often, said Ed Noyola, deputy director of the County Road Association of Michigan. “Its reliability factor goes down as the vehicle ages beyond its intended life,” Noyola said, “What used to take us a day is now taking us two and a half days or longer in certain communities.”
Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, is reintroducing a bill to give counties like Keweenaw an opportunity to get affordable snow plows by giving local entities the first bid on equipment that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is auctioning off.