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ATA Law Enforcement Advisory Board Urges Investments in Truck Parking Capacity

ATA Law Enforcement Advisory Board Urges Investments in Truck Parking Capacity

Dear Governor Edwards and Secretary Wilson,

The American Trucking Associations’ Law Enforcement Advisory Board brings together representatives

of the trucking and law enforcement communities with the goal of addressing safety and security issues of

mutual concern. One of the critical challenges we are focused on is the severe shortage of truck parking,

and we are asking for your assistance with this longstanding and growing safety problem.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), 98 percent of truck drivers regularly

experience difficulties finding safe parking—a sharp uptick from the 75 percent figure reported just four

years earlier. USDOT also found that the truck parking shortage exists in every state and region. Year

after year, truck drivers have indicated that the parking shortage is one of the top three challenges they

face, rising to number one in 2021. With the volume of freight moved by trucks expected to increase by

more than 21% over the next decade, this problem is only going to get worse.

The lack of available truck parking has dire safety implications for both truck drivers and the motoring

public. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HOS) regulations

require drivers to take a 30-minute break when they have driven for a period of eight cumulative hours

without at least a 30-minute interruption, and a 10-hour break after 11 hours of driving or 14 total hours

on-duty. When drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they are stuck in an untenable situation,

forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or violate federal HOS regulations by continuing to

search for safer, legal alternatives. As a last resort, drivers reluctantly park in unsafe locations—such as

highway shoulders, interstate entrance and exit ramps, and abandoned properties—creating heightened

safety risks for themselves and other motorists. Importantly, a survey of truck drivers conducted by

Trucker Path indicated that 84% of drivers feel unsafe when parked in unauthorized areas, and this is

especially true for female truck drivers. This dilemma puts law enforcement in a difficult position;

enforcement officials can either force truck drivers to relocate, placing them in violation of HOS rules and

taking a risk that the drivers may be too fatigued to drive safely, or they can allow the drivers to remain

parked illegally. The bottom line is that safety is compromised when truck parking is not readily


Fortunately, with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58),

significant resources are now available to state and local governments to address this critical challenge.

Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for

funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as

weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate. According to a memorandum issued by the U.S.

Department of Transportation on September 20, 2022, these resources are available under several federal

programs, including:

  • National Highway Performance Program;
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program;
  • Highway Safety Improvement Program;
  • Carbon Reduction Program; and
  •  National Highway Freight Program.

Additionally, transportation agencies can apply to USDOT for grants under a number of discretionary

programs, including:

  • Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects Program (AKA INFRA);
  • National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) Program;
  • Local and Regional Project Assistance Program (AKA RAISE); and
  • Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program.

Several federal formula and discretionary programs are available for funding additional improvements,

such as electrification, resiliency and technology solutions.

Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and economy. Without them, the daily conveniences we

take for granted—from fresh water to fuel to the physical roofs over our heads—would not exist. On

behalf of the Law Enforcement Advisory Board, we urge you to examine the availability of truck parking

within your State and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to

sleep when they are out on the road delivering 72% of America’s freight. We urge you to use the

aforementioned resources, as well as other non-Federal resources, to prioritize and address this serious

safety problem. If you would like to discuss this issue further, please contact us directly.


Fred Fakkema 


Law Enforcement Advisory Board 


Derek Barrs

Industry Outreach Advisor

Law Enforcement Advisory Board


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