Thanks to the Virginia DOT, fatigue related truck crashes in the state are bound to rise.
Over the weekend I ran a load from North Carolina to upstate New York, and then another back to North Carolina. I haven’t been through this part of the country for a while. While it’s not my favorite, this trip actually wasn’t too bad. The weather was nice, and even the traffic on I-95 was moving pretty well.
While going up I-81, and coming back down I-95, I noticed some rest areas that were closed up. Closed for remodeling? Nope. The Virginia DOT actually went ahead and closed them up to save money.
A while back, they had announced their plan to save money by closing rest areas. The plan was pretty universally denounced as being a giant leap backwards for highway safety. So, they modified it — they only closed 19 rest areas instead of 25. They are planning on adding 225 more truck parking spaces at the rest areas that are still (for now, at least) open. Eventually.
I wonder how many truck crashes it will take to wipe out the savings? Emergency response doesn’t come cheap. I wonder then how many more crashes after that it’ll take before they realize the error of their ways?
Virginia in not a state known for it’s surplus of truck parking spaces. In fact, quite the opposite, which is why I try to avoid running through the state. When freight was better, I used to simply refuse any freight that went east of I-75. Unfortunately, now I have to take pretty much whatever I can get. That means fighting for one of the dwindling number of truck parking spaces left.
Now a special note to IB’s attorney members: If you get a case involving a fatigue related truck crash in Virginia, it would be nice if you could work the Virginia DOT in as a defendant. Maybe that would get their attention.
I urge everyone to support Jason’s Law, to help create more truck parking spaces. If you’re not familiar with it, you can visit my blog at: http://truckied.wordpress.com/jason/ for the details.