FLORENCE, Ky. — Truck drivers in the U.S. have endeavored to make others’ lives easier during the pandemic by transporting the things everyone needs all over the country. But lately, it hasn’t been easy for truck drivers to find a spot to stop and rest up, leading some parking in spots they may not be safe.

What You Need To Know

  • Signs along the I71/I75 entry ramp in Florence remind drivers that there's no parking along the shoulder

  • The signs are meant to ensure truck drivers don't park and rest in dangerous locations

  • Truck drivers said parking at truck stops is often pretty scarce, as spots fill up early in the afternoon

  • KYTC has partnered with other organizations to make a real-time parking availability information system for commercial drivers

Now the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is trying to make sure truck drivers don’t rest in dangerous locations.

The signs along the entry ramp onto Interstate 71/75 North from Kentucky 18 in Florence are hard to miss. Lined up in a row, the signs remind drivers there’s no parking along the shoulder of the ramp.

Truck driver Eddie Chandra said it’s something he’s been seeing a lot of lately. Drivers like Chandra have carried a heavy load for the rest of the country during the pandemic.

After long 14 hour shifts, they’re looking for a place to rest. It’s also legally required. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates truckers must park their trucks once they reach the limit of hours they can drive in a given day or week.

“It is very rough. You’re tired. And you’re out of your hours,” Chandra said.

Chandra said the scarcity of parking due to some rest stops closing has made some drivers park in places they normally wouldn’t.

Truck parking at rest stops can fill up quickly.

“Like I parked on the side of other trucks so the other one next to me can try to get some rest,” he said. “Parking for truck drivers at night, it’s just a super hectic situation. There’s no parking. And if we park, the state troopers can come and give us a ticket.”

At many truck stops, there’s some reserved parking, and some free parking.

“But the free parking gets filled up like 4, 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and if you’re coming late, like 8:30, 9 o’clock or later than that, well, just find a way,” Chandra said. “And if there’s none, then we have to go to a second truck stop to find more luck.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet put the "no parking" signs up to deter drivers from parking on the shoulders of ramps, saying they’re prone to hit light poles, and that it’s a safety risk to other drivers.

“The number of signs is to make it painfully obvious since a longer space gives them room to park between the signs,” said a KYTC spokesperson. “Given enough space to park between them, they will.”

Chandra said he understands keeping drivers safe, but he wishes the state gave drivers more options to rest.

“I wish there was a little leeway where we can take our little rest that we need to do while driving on the road for a longer time,” he said. “And I think if they found a different option for that, OK we will not park on the ramp, that’s fine, but is there any other option there?”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has partnered with seven other states to launch a real-time parking availability information system for commercial drivers.