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Wisconsin DOT official meets with hobbyists


Sergeant Mark J. Abrahamson is going to be in charge of enforcement of minimum vehicle equipment standards that apply to older vehicles in Wisconsin. While he enforces some title and registration aspects, he is not involved with lawmaking or rulemaking.

The Automobile Gallery hosted a special vehicle equipment standards meeting for Northeast Wisconsin car hobbyists. Sergeant Mark J. Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of State Patrol presented an informed discussion of how and why such standards are enforced.

About 45 collectors and hot rodders came to downtown Green Bay for the session. The discussion included information about tire sizes, window tinting standards and the use of complete reproduction bodies. While there were questions about titling and registering a modified vehicle, the focus of the meeting was on the enforcement of laws, rather than the creation of laws.

Abrahamson talked about the need for changes in the state’s Trans 305 bill and changes in the vehicle inspection process that state troopers follow when a car is suspected of equipment violations. Trans 305 is a bill that went into effect in March 1966 that attempts to specify minimum equipment requirements for vehicles and for equipment used on vehicles. The bill established minimum equipment standards for different categories of cars including manufactured, homemade, street modified, replica and reconstructed vehicles.

Throughout the presentation, Abrahamson stressed that the core purpose of Trans 305 was to ensure that all vehicles operated on Wisconsin highways meet Federal Motor Vehicle Standards. He made it clear that the Wisconsin State Patrol is interested in working with hobbyists and hobby organizations.

Abrahamson owns several collectible vehicles himself, including a Chevrolet Advance-Design truck of the early postwar era and a Pontiac Firebird. Hot rodders at the meeting agreed that he seems easy to deal with and should be able to help with issues that enthusiasts have been concerned about.

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