The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has called for direct and indirect federal funding for truck parking facilities, and the possible commercialization or privatization of public rest areas, according to ATA information. The comments come in response to a recent Department of Transportation study on truck parking availability on the nation's highways.
"The study confirms what America's professional truck drivers tell us every night after having spent hours searching for a safe, secure parking space in which to get their required rest: that along major trucking corridors in the United States, the demand for truck parking spaces far outstrips the supply," says William J Canary, American Trucking Associations president and chief executive officer.
"Common sense safety practices lead us to strongly support the recommendation to prohibit states from engaging in the absurd practice of forcing truck drivers out of public rest areas, especially when they would be in violation of federal hours-of-service regulations," Canary says. "We also agree with the proposal to establish minimum standards for truck stops to assure an acceptable level of safety and security for both truck drivers and their cargo.
"The bottom line is that if federal law, and common sense safe driving, require truck drivers to pull over for a prescribed period of rest, then the federal government has an obligation to help provide enough safe, secure parking spaces for them to do so. When it comes to improving rest areas, it is time to give increased, safe truck parking a higher priority than new flowerbeds or dog walks."