Michigan campaign to raise sales tax for highway funding launches first TV ad questioning safety of roads

Updated Mar 11, 2015

Michigan Safe Roads Yes! TV ad plywood

The first television spot by the Safe Roads Yes! campaign aired March 9 to push for approval of Michigan’s Proposal One, which will increase state sales tax to create an estimated $1.2 billion for road and bridge projects.

The proposal is up for vote this May and would increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.

The message of the ad: No one likes paying more, but folks will pay more for roads that are safer.

The ad features a family of six, with mom driving the kids to basketball and soccer practices saying there are some places she “hates” driving. One type of place is under overpasses that have plywood underneath to collect debris. Her concern is over the plywood or the bridge itself from falling down.

“Our roads are long past being bad. They’re dangerous,” she says.

A recent audit of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) warranty system found the department isn’t holding roadwork contractors properly accountable for warranties on their projects, which puts the cost of repairs to such projects squarely on the state’s shoulders.

MDOT agreed with the findings and reported it will have a plan in place to handle these situations by October of this year.