The Texas Department of Transportation is taking a closer look at its highways after truck drivers say they can’t find a safe place to park when they reach their maximum hours driving.
“I mean it’s hard to find safe places in the middle of the night,” said Bruce Nicholson, a truck driver. “I know it’s illegal but what do you do?”
Truck drivers are only legally allowed to drive for 11 hours per day before they have to stop and rest for another 10 hours. Depending on where they are when they reach this mark, truck drivers are known to be creative with their parking.
“Well we park on side roads, city streets, basically anywhere they don’t want us,” said Carol Zbinovsky, a truck driver.
In the past, Nicholson said truck drivers would use Wal-marts to park, but trash was left behind too many times. He said situations like that really narrow down where they can go.
If police find truck drivers illegally parked they will be ticketed and ordered to move along. However, for many truck drivers, when they start the truck again they are breaking the law.
“They are not allowed to drive over the time limit, but they are not allowed to block city streets,: said Lieutenant Mark Gumaer, Department of Public Safety. “They have electronic devices in their trucks telling them when they reach that limit, and once they do they have to park immediately.”
The Texas Department of Transportation said they are aware of this issue, and are working towards a solution. They said they are hosting several workshops throughout the state talk to truck drivers on what those best solutions may be.
“We are designing for the future,” said Dianiah Ascensio, Texas Department of Transportation. “We are going to take the information they give us, and design for tomorrow.”
They said their next stop will be in Amarillo on Thursday at 8:30 am at the Amarillo College – Polk Campus Exhibit Hall.