At night, truck drivers often park along the ramps. It’s illegal in Illinois. But the police often turn a blind eye to this. They know that there is a severe shortage of parking spaces. For Frans, it’s a constant struggle. “I have two options,” Frans said. “I have to donate money from my own pocket to either fines or drive fewer miles in a day.”
In other states, violations lead to consequences. France stated that over the past year he had to park in Tennessee where it is illegal to park and received a fine of about $550. Finding a parking lot often means less mileage and therefore less pay.
“Worse, it’s not only endangering me, it’s endangering everyone around,” Frans said.
According to him, truck drivers are forced to go even when they are tired and need to stop. And due to the lack of parking spaces, drivers cannot stop when they need to. This means they can’t always follow federal regulations that limit the amount of time drivers can drive a truck before taking a break.
Right now, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois), from a family of truck drivers, is fighting to get his bill passed into law. It’s called the Truck Parking Safety Enhancement Act, or H.R.2187.
The bill is aimed at public funding, especially to increase the number of parking spaces for commercial vehicles.
Bost’s bill is currently being debated in the House of Representatives. If he goes any further, he will go to the Senate. The bill could become law as early as January.