The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently started a research to parking availability for truckers. As we all know, a lot of truckers have to drive long distances. For safety reasons they have to stop for a break every few hours, to prevent them from falling asleep behind the wheel or losing focus. For example, in America the standard is set at 11 hours. After 11 hours of driving, truckers have to stop for a break. In Europe drivers have to rest for at least 45 minutes after a 4.5 hours of non-stop driving.
So all of these truck drivers need a place to park their truck on the side of the road. The Minnesota Department of Transportation started a research to check the availability of these parking spaces.
For the research, they placed cameras in parking lots at the Elm Creek rest area. The cameras will register the parking availability up to April 2013. It also testes whether or not providing this information will help the truckers to find a parking space. After the test period this new system will provide truck drivers with real-time information about parking availability through a website, in-cab messaging and signs along the roads. When a truck approaches a rest area, he will automatically receive how many parking spaces are available.
The Minnesota DOT hopes to finish the research by the end of 2013. In the meantime, they will start test phases at other locations in the Minnesota area.
So if you are a truck driver in the Minnesota area and you notice cameras around you in the parking lot, don't be alarmed: It's for a good cause. You can read more about it at Truckerinfo.com.
Another thing I wanted to mention: Since a few days we have our own Google Plus page. Add us to your circles to stay up to date about the parking industry!