More Rest for Truckers

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

A new study shows that 35 states, including Virginia, don't have enough parking for trucks in highway rest areas. In Virginia, there is also a time limit on how long the truckers can rest and that causes many concern.

"Truckers need a place where they can get proper rest,” says Mike Lasher, a truck driver from New York. "We travel with hazardous materials. It's a hazard to the public. It's a hazard to the environment."

Public rest stops are few and far between, but the Federal Highway Administration says Virginia's private truck stops make up for the lack of public stops. But truckers say that's not so.

"If you get here late at night, you can't get into a truck stop," said Ralph Wettig, truck driver. "The next thing you know, you're parking on the shoulder and some cop is there banging on your door."

Wettig adds that even when he explains that he's too tired to go on, state troopers will tell him to move on or take a ticket. Other truckers echo the same concern.

"There's times when you have that problem late at night," said Bob Gailor, also a New York truck driver. "There's those days when you can't go that extra 100-miles, 50-miles or even 30-miles."

The solution for these truckers is simple. Make the state more truck friendly. They say several states have truck-only stops with no limit on the time they can stay. They say it's a big help.

The Federal Highway Administration is recommending that states like Virginia expand the rest areas to include more truck spaces and to allow the truckers to stay in rest areas to sleep.


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