Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tractor trailers parked along I-83 north. Police say the highway has become a last-minute overnight truck stop. Now state police are cracking down on drivers who do it.
Gigi Barnett has the reaction from truck drivers.
Just beyond some trees on I-83 north is an 18-wheeler stopped on the side of the road. It’s not disabled; police say the driver has turned the highway into a truck stop. State police say it’s a dangerous practice, and they’re warning truck drivers to keep on trucking.
“It takes away the emergency stopping area that cars and trucks need as they travel up and down the interstate,” said State Police Spokesman Sgt. Marc Black.
Starting this weekend, troopers are passing out tickets.
“This has been going on for quite some time. There are signs already posted there. State highway workers will also be out with variable signs reminding truck drivers that they’re not allowed to park on the shoulders,” Black said.
But some truckers say many rest areas fill up fast and for them, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
“It’s hard to find rest areas and sometimes you’re forced to pull over and park,” said a truck driver identified only as Victor.
“If you’re sleepy, you need to pull over and go to sleep. Eighteen-wheeler, four, 10, 12, whatever. If you’re sleepy, go to sleep,” said truck driver Kerry Skipper.
Troopers say there is a safe solution to this and, with just a little more planning, it may be found a few miles and minutes away.
“Find an area where they can park off of the interstate so they can park safely and rest,” Black said.
Troopers say all of the state’s weight stations are open to truckers overnight.