The state of New York is proposing to waive the current three-hour limit on nighttime parking at its rest stops so truckers can get much-needed sleep.
The New York Department of Transportation is circulating the proposed regulation, which would allow truckers to spend up to eight hours parked overnight at rest areas and scenic overlooks. The rule change is designed to help truckers adhere to federal hours of service regulations that require eight consecutive hours of rest.
The three-hour parking rule was imposed because rest areas were intended as a place for motorists to get out of their cars and stretch their legs and admire the view. They were never intended as overnight campgrounds.
The New York Motor Truck Assn. has been lobbying for the changes. NYMTA's Bill Joyce said that truckers are often forced to operate in violation of hours of service rules by police officers ordering them out of rest areas after three hours.
The agency will take public comments on its proposal for the next month and a half. The new rules could be effective this summer.