INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO) – The Indiana Department of Transportation announced a new system called “Truck Park Here” which is a regional effort to make interstate travel safer for truckers.
The multi-state effort creates a network of safe and convenient parking areas for truck drivers with the ability to collect and share real-time parking availability with other drivers through message signs, smart phone apps and traveler information websites.
It is essential for truckers to have access to convenient parking areas as they have a limit to how many hours they can drive before having to pull over to rest. Unfortunately, drivers are having difficulty locating areas to safely rest. If they reach their limit, often times they will have to park somewhere unsafe or illegal, such as, shoulders of highways, on and off ramps and abandoned facilities.
“Freight movement is critical to Indiana’s economy with more than 1.5 billion tons transported through our state each year,” Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “With much of that freight moving through Indiana on our highways, providing real-time information to truckers on where to find safe parking at the end of their shifts is one of the most effective ways we can preserve safety for all motorists. INDOT is proud to join seven other states in making interstate travel safer across our region.”
According to a study in 2013, 83 percent of drivers regularly took longer than 30 minutes to find parking. The estimated the annual cost to the country of truckers trying to find safe parking is $4.4 billion and increases CO2 emissions by 3.3 million tons.
The National Transportation and Safety Board states that 30 to 40 percent of semi-truck related accidents are because of tired drivers. This system will allow drivers to monitor parking availability and make better parking decisions as they near their federally mandated drive time limit. Indiana State Police Superintendent, Doug Carter, says “a fatigued driver can be as much of a threat on the road as an intoxicated driver,”
INDOT will feature 19 sites in Indiana for the “Trucks Park Here” system located along I-65, I-69 and I-70. Those particular interstates are the most heavily traveled by truckers in Indiana and therefore are the most congested at parking sites.
“Trucks Park Here” uses existing intelligent transportation systems (ITS) infrastructure and capabilities, along with emerging vehicle detection and data collection technologies, to monitor the availability of truck parking. It provides real-time information through multiple platforms to commercial vehicle operators for over 150 parking sites across the Midwest.
Other states participating in the trucker system are Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
For more information about ‘Trucks Park Here,” visit www.trucksparkhere.com