Not only are we not wanted on our highways but a lot of our big coffee shops don’t want us on their paved parking lots so they make them too small to get a truck in. A lot of restaurants along our highways, put up signs,”No Heavy Trucks.”
The road shoulders near these establishments have “No Parking” signs so we get fined if we stop on them to run and get a coffee. I guess, that is everyone’s right and I respect that. Ah, but our government is a different story.
You see, trucks and their drivers are governed by a strict set of rules and regulations and this is good. We need them for the safety of all. Safety being the key word here, I am asking our new Minister of Safety, Mr. Bartolucci who is a strong proponent of highway safety, to look at the hazards that are being generated by our government not making allowances for an industry that needs to pull over and rest/sleep periodically. When drivers cannot get their proper rest, they become hazards.
There are fewer places a driver can park to get the rest that he/she needs. I run northern and southern Ontario and just in that little circle of country I find our rest areas (the few that are out there) did not take trucks into account when they were constructed. There are too few truck stops to handle the volume. We are not permitted to just pull over and sleep on the shoulders (if there are any) or on/off ramps.
Even some unused inspection station areas are barricaded. Most existing inspection stations only allow us to use half of the area. Drivers are regulated to get eight hours of sleep after working 14 hrs. Not being familiar with the area can force a driver to stop on the shoulder to get the needed rest when his/her body needs it. I’m lucky to know my area enough to plan ahead for most of my rest. But, what about the driver that is unfamiliar with the area they are going through?
Trucks need rest areas, at a designated regular distance, so a driver can get off the highway. Then there are those signs that are well lit up on our highways;”Fatigue Kills, Take a break.”Where?
Kevin Shanahan Via e-mail
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