Judge rejects petition to reopen rest areas in MN

| 7/12/2011

Late Monday, July 11, a Minnesota Chief District Judge rejected the Minnesota Trucking Association’s petition to reopen the state’s safety rest areas during the shutdown, which began on July 1.

The judge deemed that they are not a critical core function of the government as state lawmakers continue to haggle over a budget agreement. The shutdown in Minnesota is now the longest of any state in nearly 10 years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Many truck drivers say that they are trying to take their 10-hour breaks before entering Minnesota, but that neighboring states’ rest areas are filling up fast. 

Roadside enforcement of commercial vehicles has continued during the shutdown. In his testimony at a special hearing about the shutdown in early July, MTA President John Hausladen said the trucking industry finds it “very difficult to reconcile the fact that enforcement of motor carrier laws is essential, but the resources that motor carriers need to operate safely and stay in compliance are not.”