Mandatory Brake Stop Being Misused by Tired Truckers

June 9, 2000

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Truckers wanting to catch a bit of shut-eye at a mandatory brake check station in West Virginia are causing some congestion problems, reports the Associated Press.

The facility, located on Interstate 68 on Cheat Mountain, W.Va., is becoming way too crowded, and drivers wanting to perform brake checks on their rigs can’t get through.
The facility was set up to give truckers a place to check their brakes before heading down a five-mile stretch of highway with a 7-percent grade, the maximum grade allowed on interstates.
However, truckers are complaining because there isn’t any room for them to get their trucks into the brake check. Roger Boord, a Morgantown, W.Va., trucker told the AP, "It's a godsend that they have the brake check, but it needs to be used for the reason it was built."
Boord said the crowding is forcing truckers to go down the mountain without checking their brakes.
Highway officials and state police haven’t been able to ask the sleeping truckers to clear out because there aren’t any signs posted that forbid sleeping in the area. They also say that the area isn’t part of the Interstate, so they can’t enforce traffic laws there.
The Cheat Mountain Safety Task Force, which comprises the Division of Highways, Public Service Commission and State Police, is taking steps to correct the problem. The DOH is planning to install signs at the stop and authorize the State Police to clear the area of truckers using the stop to sleep.
Despite the problems, officials say the mandatory stop is slowing trucks before they go down the mountain.

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