Truck drivers in Michigan and beyond are hopeful that a recently reintroduced house bill will bring some relief for drivers struggling through one of the more frustrating parts of the job: truck parking.
The proposed bill would “establish a set-aside source of funding from existing U.S. Department of Transportation funding to create more parking spots,” an idea that, while not exactly revolutionary, is already making truckers feel more seen.
“This legislation is really a good thing because hopefully, people are taking notice to say you’re gonna be unsafe if you’re driving fatigued,” said the owner of NTB Trucking, Kurt Koster, to Up North Live News.
“Once it gets dark around that dusk time the truck stops fill up with trucks and you can go into these truck stops and you have to drive in and out because there’s no place to park,” he continued.
“Some of these rest areas have 20 spots and if you drive there at 2 am there’s probably 80 trucks here,” said truck driver Luke Gentis.
Because of this overcrowding, many drivers are forced to park in unsafe spots, such as along highways, making for uneasy drivers who don’t necessarily rest comfortably in such situations.
“Sleeping in those spots is extremely uncomfortable because all night long or day as vehicles go by your semi is actually swaying and moving and if somebody gets in a wreck and they hit you, you’re gonna be killed in your sleep,” Gentis continued. “There were times I’ve woke up by the rumble strips.”
Drivers are hopeful the bill will be passed, a trucking victory which would prove drivers are at least slightly appreciated, especially during a global pandemic where demand for shipping is even higher.
“That’s why they say when the trucks stop moving, people will realize,” said Gentis. “Because everything that you eat, that you wear, everything that you use comes off a semi-truck.”