Nebraska changes rest area rules to accommodate truckers’ HOS regs

| 1/25/2008

Most states offer some truck parking at their public rest areas; however, it’s the limit on the number of hours truckers can park there that often causes a quandary for drivers.

Recently, Nebraska officials recognized the dilemma drivers face when federal law requires them to rest for 10 hours, but parking rules say they must move on after eight hours. The state officials changed the parking maximum from eight hours to 10 hours to match the federal HOS rules.

Nebraska Traffic Engineer Dan Waddle told Land Line the change was made so that truckers wouldn’t have to move during their 10-hour rest period.

Nebraska currently has 24 rest areas and 265 truck parking spots. Waddle said he realizes the state’s rest areas’ truck parking spaces are filled “to capacity” every night.

“We know our rest area facilities are at capacity, so make sure to park early,” he said.

Improvements are in the works to address the state’s truck parking needs, according to Waddle. One rest area, the Melia Hill Rest Area, which is two miles west of the Highway 31 interchange on Interstate 80, was recently revamped to include 24 truck parking spaces. It previously had seven.

Waddle said another rest area scheduled for an upgrade in the next year or so is the Goehner Rest Area, which is located three miles east of the York Interchange. The proposed change would include the addition of at least 20 truck parking spaces.

“We realize we have truck parking issues and we are taking steps to address them,” he said. “Many of our older rest areas still have only seven parallel parking spaces for trucks.”

At least 25 states have imposed time limits on truck parking.

If you drive through Nebraska and need a place to park, you might want to click here to find out where the 24 rest areas in the state are located.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer

Editor’s note: So far, an informal and ongoing review conducted by Land Line suggests that Nebraska is the only state that allows truckers to park for their complete 10-hour rest period. If you know of another, please contact Clarissa Kell-Holland at the above e-mail address.