Published November 21 2010
Ask Your Government: Reader asks about trucks parked on interstate rampsDear Teri,
Can you tell me why so many semis are parked on the entrances and exits to the interstate highways? Some have flares set up, but most do not! This is a very dangerous practice.
Mary Robinette, Grand Forks
Thanks for writing! The state Department of Transportation referred me to the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association. Here’s what Executive Vice President Tom Balzer said:
“The reason for the trucks parked on the interstate ramps is that, with the federal regulations that govern the trucking industry, the drivers are limited in the number of hours they may drive in a day. When those available hours are up, they must park the truck.
“Many times, the trip allows for the trucks to park at a local truck stop, but there are times that this is not possible. In those cases, the drivers try to stop at a rest area or, if available, a designated truck parking area.
“When those options are exhausted, drivers will park the truck at the end of the off-ramp or the start of the on-ramp to prevent interference with accelerating or decelerating traffic.
“The increase in this is due to a number of factors, including seasonal truck traffic increases due to agriculture and energy development. Also, there have been rest areas in the state that have been closed, due to traffic volumes, maintenance costs and facility quality.
“Additionally, there is a lack of designated truck parking areas in the state. The North Dakota Department of Transportation did apply for federal grant to develop one along I-29 last year but was unsuccessful.
“The use of flares, or reflective triangles, on a parked truck is usually reserved for a truck that is experiencing a mechanical issue or involved in an accident, although some companies by internal safety policies require that drivers use them when they are parked roadside.”
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