Ensure Safe Parking
If you’ve rented a moving van and driven cross country, or hit the highway in a minivan on a family road trip, then you’ve probably had that feeling - your eyes feel heavy, your head starts to droop, and you know you need to find a safe place soon to park and refresh.
For professional drivers moving 80,000 pounds of truck and cargo down the highway, it’s vital to find places to park and rest long before weariness sets in.
Highway Businesses Provide Safe Truck Parking.
Today’s federal hours-of-service laws require professional truck drivers to rest for 10 hours between shifts. Without the parking spaces highway businesses provide, truck drivers could not find the safe parking spaces they need to meet these requirements.
Many truckstops don’t even charge for these spaces – they provide overnight parking as a free service to the professional drivers who stop in for food or fuel.
Rest Area Commercialization Could Place the Nation’s Truck Parking Supply at Risk.
Proposals to “commercialize” rest areas place highway businesses and the parking spaces they provide at risk. Truckstops at the exits cannot hope to compete if state-supported rest areas are suddenly allowed to sell food and fuel right on the Interstate. As a result, those highway businesses and their parking spaces could disappear.
Rest areas cannot fill the gap. Rest areas offer only 31,300 truck parking spaces, according to a 2003 report by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The remainder of the nation’s truck parking supply is provided by highway businesses.
In many cases, advocates for commercial rest areas cite the potential for increased truck parking capacity as a reason to operate commercialized facilities. In reality, government-run rest areas offering food and fuel and other retail services alter the competitive landscape to a degree that substantially reduces the number of available truck parking spaces located near the interstate.
NATSO's study "Rest Area Commercialization and Truck Parking Capacity" found that truck parking capacity is substantially greater on the stretches of the interstate highway where commercial rest areas are prohibited. Principally, the study found that in general sections of highway in states operating commercial rest areas have two fewer parking spaces per mile.