Indiana Short on Truck Parking
August 7, 2000
A shortage of parking spaces at Indiana rest stops is forcing many truckers to either park illegally along highway onramps or surpass the legal limit of 10 consecutive hours on the road, and according to Associated Press reports, it's creating problems between police and drivers.
"It's bad for us because we understand why they're doing it," Indiana State Police Sgt. Shana Kennedy told the AP. "Yes, it is against the law. But then there are a lot of accidents where the driver just zoned out. Then you start looking at the log book and it's obvious that the driver was overtired."
Drivers say the parking shortage exists nationwide, but is worse in northwest Indiana because it is between Indianapolis and Chicago. The Wolcott rest area sits about 40 miles northwest of Lafayette, and accommodates only 13 tractor-trailers on the northbound side and another 13 on the southbound side.
In 1999, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened rest areas that can park 430 commercial trucks in LaPorte County and more than 300 in Elkhart County. Indiana rest areas can currently accommodate a total of 1,100 parked trucks, but INDOT officials say there are no additional plans to expand rest areas in the northern part of the state.