Matt Helms: Tough Road Workers Law, Tough CriticismAuthor/Presenter: Helms, Matt
Gov. Jennifer Granholm approved Andy’s Law – named for construction worker Andy Lefko – on Jan. 8. Lefko was 19 in 1999 when he was left paraplegic and brain-damaged after a drunken driver hit him in a work zone. The driver’s punishment was 45 days in jail. Wayne State University assistant law professor David Moran and others say lawmakers have gone too far in trying to toughen the penalties for injuring or killing road workers. The tougher Andy’s Law lowers the threshold for which moving violations can trigger felony penalties. It makes drivers subject to up to 15 years in prison and $7,500 in fines for killing a worker and up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines for injuring one. Andy’s Law requires a driver to be doing something criminal — like reckless or drunken driving — for a driver to be charged with a felony.