TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)- Tractor trailers parking illegally along the side of interstates have state police concerned, but truck drivers said regulations sometimes make it hard to find a safer alternative.
Illinois State Trooper Tammy Welborn said with roughly 3.5 million truck drivers in the industry, Interstate 70 between Effingham and Terre Haute can get congested.
Tractor-trailer owner operator Lloyd Swistara said the large number of drivers on the interstate is what makes parking spaces so limited.
Sometimes I cut my driving hours short just to stop, because I know if I go any farther down the road, I’m not going to make it.”Lloyd Swistara
Swistara said luckily he gets to drive on the same stretch of road more times than not, giving him the opportunity to scout out places he knows parking will be available.
Most of the time drivers don’t get the same routes and that makes finding safe parking a difficult task.
Swistara said he has a road companion to keep him safe when he can’t make it to a rest area or gas station, but even he has had to park on the side of the interstate due to restricted driving hours.
I’ve gotten into an argument telling [officers] look, I’m out of hours. I can’t move.Lloyd Swistara
SGT. Matt Ames, Indiana State Police, said all that aside, truck drivers have a responsibility to follow the rules like every other driver is expected to.
As a commercial driver they should be able to assess, know where they are going to be at, and be able to pull off of the road safely as possible.”ISP SGT. Matt Ames
Both troopers said there are plenty of rest areas with parking for semi trailers from Effingham to Terre Haute. They said the only time any vehicle should be parked on the side of the road is in the case of an emergency.
Ames said if they have to park there because of an emergency, they need the proper gear. He said caution triangles, hazard lights, a neon safety vest, and it never hurts to call the local troopers to let them know you may need help.
In both Indiana and Illinois signs are posted along the interstate stating “No Parking.”
Since July 1 any citation issued for parking illegally on the interstate will be $164, up 24 dollars from earlier this year.
Last Wednesday the government went into discussion over easing regulations over allowed time behind the wheel of a tractor trailer.
According to AP the proposal will be published in the Federal Register next and be open for public comment for 45 days.
They said in the new discussed revisions, drivers could take breaks while waiting on cargo to be loaded or unloaded. Currently, truckers are still required to take an off-duty break, even if they do not need to rest or cannot find suitable parking for a big rig.