Georgia community votes to ban trucks

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 2/20/2013

While many truck drivers were hopeful Tuesday night that the Warner Robins, GA, City Council would table a vote on an ordinance banning truck parking to allow for input from truckers, the council approved the ordinance.

The new ordinance bans trucks from parking on parking lots for more than two hours unless the drivers receive special permission from the property owners of the lots.

Several truck drivers who attended the city council meeting say they were ready to speak out about the proposed ordinance and how it would affect their livelihoods. But they were not allowed to speak until after the vote was taken – and after the meeting was over.

Warner Robins City Attorney Jim Elliott told Land Line on Wednesday that council members received several phone calls and emails leading up to Tuesday’s vote, but that Georgia law “doesn’t require any public hearings before the meetings.”

“There was a lot of discussion about adopting the ordinance, but we plan to continue dialoguing with the industry and the need to address some concerns moving forward,” Elliott said.

Truck driver Marilyn Smith said she attended the council meeting in hopes she would be able to speak before the vote. Instead she said she was able to speak to some of the council members after the meeting.

“I told them that there are thousands of trucks doing business around Warner Robins and that truck stop where they suggest all of these drivers park can hold about 100 of them,” Smith told Land Line on Wednesday. 

OOIDA member Paul Bedgood of West Green, GA, called all of the council members and the city attorney after receiving OOIDA’s Call to Action about Tuesday’s vote on the truck parking ban.

Bedgood told Land Line that he delivers and picks up from Robins Air Force Base several times a month and stays in the Warner Robins area sometimes. He said council members told him that there had been complaints about some drivers parking in the lot that was formerly the Winn-Dixie Supermarket in Warner Robins.

“So their reaction was to ban trucks from all vacant lots unless you get the owner’s permission,” Bedgood said. “This is the largest air force base in Georgia with all of these trucks coming through the area and there’s not going to be a place for them to park.”

After the meeting, Smith said she suggested city council members check into an unused 30-acre section of land near the Pilot that could be used to add more truck parking.

There is a provision known as “Jason’s Law” in the new highway law was enacted to dedicate federal money to help construct, improve or reopen commercial parking facilities along the National Highway System.

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