The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is criticizing the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for planning to close 25 of the state's 42 Interstate highway rest areas.
ATA noted that the state was receiving $694.5 million for highway projects from the federal stimulus package.
ATA added that it believes the move poses a significant safety risk to motorists, and that the VDOT’s Statewide Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center Master Plan Draft states that "the presence of safety rest areas has a direct correlation to a reduction in the number of shoulder stop and driver fatigue related accidents."
"Closing rest areas would encourage drivers to make stops along the shoulders of the highways, a dangerous practice," ATA said. "Removing safety rest stations also hinders truck drivers’ ability to meet federal hours of service regulations and causes unsafe situations for all motorists on the road."