Petition asks FMCSA to mandate parking

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In the early morning hours of Friday, May 6, driver Glen Hamblin was hauling 50,000 lbs. of potatoes on I-77 in North Carolina and looking for a legal place to get off the highway and rest.

Hamblin told The News Observer of Raleigh, N.C.:

“The whole accident could have been avoided if I had pulled off on an exit ramp. But in most states, it’s illegal. They’ll give you a $600 ticket for parking on an off-ramp.

“There’s not enough rest areas. Even if you do find a truck stop or a rest area, they’re full, and you still have to drive tired. It’s a big problem.”

That put an incredibly human face on what has emerged as important an issue as there is in American trucking today: the lack of adequate safe parking for trucks, and the Catch 22 created by federal hours of service regulations.
Now there’s an online petition at that asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to require states to create parking. It also suggests that truckers will pay modest fees.

“We, the undersigned petitioners, formally request that the FMCSA mandate that each state provide enough state-sanctioned truck parking along interstates to match annual truck traffic volume statistics.

“This can be done by making a plain dirt lot available for truckers to park in, at various rural exit ramps.

“We, the undersigned petitioners, understand that even a plain dirt lot will carry some cost to each state. Aside from land procurement, several factors are at play for which we, the undersigned petitioners, would gladly contribute via nominal coin- or token-operated toll gates to enter the aforementioned lot.

  • “No-frills parking lots for large trucks: either dirt, gravel, or pavement
  • “Reasonable freeway-type light poles
  • “Dumpster near exit of parking lot
  • “Winter conditions in some states may require snow management
  • “Law enforcement should not be allowed to ‘troll’ these lots, instead restricted to Weigh Stations

“We, the undersigned petitioners, are willing to contribute on a per-entry basis via coin- or token-operated machines on the following schedule: $1 for dirt lot; $2 for gravel lot; $3 for paved lot.
Each state should contribute rural land and easements, and facilitate management of the lots.”

Here’s some of what the people who signed the petition had to say: