The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is receiving part of a twenty-five million dollar grant from the U.S. D.O.T. to expand a real-time truck parking information system. Over the past four years, around 600 crashes resulted in 24 deaths where truck drivers reduced alertness was a factor. The D.O.T. says it’s now time to take action. Fox 25-48’s Jessica Bringe has more.
As a truck driving instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College– Karl Pinter knows how grueling driving can be.
“Driving truck is a job that requires long days and with long days you need the rest.”
Pinter says numerous hours on the road make rest areas crucial for truckers.
“They’re allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours a day, work 14 total in a day, so three hours loading and unloading and then they must have a minimum of 10 hours off consecutive so it’s important for them to get that rest.”
Pinter says safe truck parking is a major issue. If waysides are full drivers are forced to either park on the roadside or keep driving in search of a place to rest.
“Sometimes you’ll have no luck at all and end up sleeping on an onramp which isn’t recommended but sometimes when you’re tired you have to make do.”
Daniel Yeh with the department of transportation says a 25 million dollar grant shared between eight states including Wisconsin is aimed at making it easier for commercial truck drivers to find parking at rest areas.
“There will be dynamic message signs on the freeways that will give real-time information to truckers about availability of parking at upcoming rest areas. We’ll also share that information through our 5-1-1 wi.gov website and then they’ll also be a mobile app that will be available to truck drivers.”
The state is looking at getting two million dollars to install signs and electronic infrastructure at major waysides along Interstate 94 from Kenosha to Dunn Counties.
“It will help everybody in all the communities in which we drive on a daily basis.”
Jessica Bringe, Fox 25-48 News at 9.
Yeh says to expect the message boards, online, and app portion to be unveiled over the next couple years. Other participating states include Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio among others.