Whilst UK and European drivers might, quite rightly, complain about the lack of secure and safe parking areas, their American compatriots have not just the same problem, but are actaully suffering a proposed shrinking of such facilities in the State of Virginia.
The State wants to close down 25 of their 45 rest areas, ‘to save money on their budget’. As if a reduction of 50% isn’t bad enough, Virginia has always been a problem for driver parking anyway.
According to drivers that have contacted Tachoblog, there is also a problem with Virginia Law Enforcement. In the US, there is a Federal Law that states a driver must take a 10-hour break and this must be maked in their log book – the American equivalent of the European Tachograph.
Drivers regularly report that Law Enforcement Officers are waking them up after two hours telling them that they have to move as ‘Virginia State Law says that they can only park for two hours’. Drivers are threatened (and actually have been) ticketed and / or arrested for not complying with this direct contravention of the Federal Law.
Naturally drivers are upset and frustrated by all of this and some, such as Truck Drivers News are now starting to encourage their fellows to boycott the State by not fueling, eating or spending any money in it.
According to the site, ‘most trucks can make the drive through Virginia easy without fueling there’ and so ‘all that needs to be done is some trip planning’. In simple terms, Truck Drivers News is advocating that drivers fuel up before entering Virginia and make sure they have enough food, drink, etc to last them as they drive through so that they don’t have to stop and buy anything in the State. This way, they hope, Virginia will suffer from reduced revenues and the State Government will think again about its proposed actions.
Thanks to AskTheTrucker.com, Tachoblog can let you hear Jeffrey Caldwell, Chief of Communitions for VDOT, speaking on Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio, to discuss the situation in the State of Virginia, concerning the closings of 25 of the 41 rest areas and the impact it will place on public safety.
You’ll also hear SilverSurfer and JB from The American Driver ask questions and discuss this matter with Mr. Caldwell.
July 1st, 2009 is the final date when the State will have made its decision about the closings and the effects will be in place.
Tachoblog will keep you informed…