The Minnesota state government shutdown is causing pains for truckers who relied on 63 state-run safety rest areas in the state as a place to shut it down and comply with hours of service regulations. All the rest areas have been closed in the Gopher state since the government shut down on July 1.
The Minnesota Trucking Association has asked a special court master to declare rest areas a critical service and to re-open them while negotiations continue on a new state budget.
John Hausladen, president of the trucking association, said truckers are caught in the middle of conflicting government directives. The federal government makes them stop to rest to comply with hours of service regulations, but the Minnesota state government is not providing the required rest facilities to enable them to do so.
Hausladen told the Pierce County Herald that drivers are trying to rest in places close to Minnesota’s borders before entering the state, but it’s not always possible.
Many are reportedly parking in illegal or unsafe places within the Gopher state, because they have no other choice. Roadside rest areas in western Wisconsin have reportedly gotten busier, as more truckers take a break before heading into Minnesota.