Truckers want rest stops reopened during shutdownby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Truck drivers are joining the long list of groups going before a special master Tuesday to ask for relief on the fifth day of the state government shutdown.
The truckers want the state to reopen freeway rest areas so that they can make their mandatory stops. The law requires them to pull over after 11 hours of driving or after 14 hours on duty.
John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association, says private truck stops are over capacity, so drivers are running out of places to park.
"There are times of the day when they're over capacity, and there simply isn't enough parking," he said. "If you wipe all of them off the slate, off the tally board, they're just isn't enough room for these trucks to park safely and meet that requirement."
Even before the shutdown, there was a parking crunch at rest areas for commercial drivers.
"They're doing the best they can, but this morning I saw a couple trucks parked on an entrance ramp to a freeway," he said. "They don't want to park there. No one wants them to park there. But where do you park a 75-foot unit? You have to do it."
The truckers group argues that the rest stop closures present a public-safety issue. It's also concerned because some truckers whose commercial drivers licenses have expired have been unable to renew them during the shutdown.