Monday, October 30 2017
Photo courtesy of FleetOwner
Orlando, Fla. — Truck parking is a capacity, geographic, and even political problem in Florida. We all know that truck spaces at rest areas including the 17 at the congested rest stop on eastbound I-4 about two miles north of State Road 434 — fill up fast.
For a long time, this has been an issue for truck drivers who are forced to park in places that are either illegal or unsafe. Truck drivers are required to stop to rest after ten hours of driving. Non compliance with the mandatory rest stops not only implies a violation, but a safety hazard for truck drivers and other drivers on the road.
These types of circumstances have contributed to security issues which have always been a problem in Florida, as our state consistently ranks high for cargo theft.
Inadequate truck parking continuously pops up as a top concern among truck drivers and carriers nationwide. In fact, it just ranked number four on the annual top 10 list of trucking industry issues compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI.)
ATRI is not-for-profit research organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Sacramento, and New York and has been engaged in critical transportation studies and operational tests since 1954. Its primary mission is to conduct transportation research with an emphasis on the trucking industry’s essential role in a safe, efficient, and viable transportation system.
The Florida’s Trucking Association decided to conduct a study with Florida International University to assess parking lot utilization and technology use, Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) found the biggest problem statewide is an imbalance of truck parking capacity due to a lack of parking information management. FDOT found an overflow of parking at some locations while others remain underutilized.
The good news are that in order to help resolve the problem, the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) is now working to help commercial drivers with a new technology that detects empty spaces at rest areas and weigh stations and alerts them through message boards and websites.
The state plans to rely on the new $1.8-million truck parking availability system at the Seminole rest stop and six others along Interstate 95 in Brevard and Flagler counties. Work crews began planting underground sensors shaped like hockey pucks at each truck space, along with detection devices at the entrances and exits of rest stops and weigh stations to monitor the number of available parking spaces.
Isn’t technology amazing! These electronic sensors will relay the information to the state’s FL511.com web site, mobile apps and message boards along I-4 and I-95, showing truckers down the road how many empty spaces are available. The system should be running by spring.
We, at Orlando Truck Insurance, are committed to keep you well informed and prepared for changes like these. We all hope this effort pose a positive impact in helping the local transportation industry prevent loss of cargo among many other related constraints caused by the lack of adequate parking spaces while in our State.