Editorials

Let truckers rest in NC

cliddy@newsobserver.com

Charlie Shelton is a businessman who among other endeavors owns a vineyard in northwestern North Carolina, in Surry County, where he lives. Shelton also likes a sip of politics, having contributed, with his brother, many thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Gov. Pat McCrory, who has known the Sheltons since his days as mayor of Charlotte.

So Shelton didn’t hesitate to bring a problem to the governor’s attention, a problem that happens to exist near his winery. Namely, truckers who hit their legal limit on driving time pull off and stop their trucks to rest on the side of exit ramps. So the governor promptly ordered a step-up on patrols and enforcement, because such parking is indeed illegal.

That Shelton complained and McCrory acted isn’t unusual. Contributors always get more prompt attention than ordinary folks. But Shelton’s complaint spotlights a very real problem, that there are not enough rest area parking spaces for truckers, which is something it would be nice to see McCrory spring to action on as quickly as he did on Shelton’s complaint.

I-77 and I-85 through North Carolina are major North-South trucking routes, and truckers who have to pull over because of laws limiting their driving time (an important safety matter) don’t have enough places to go. It’s in the public’s interest to give them enough space, and there’s a special interest the governor should get behind for everyone’s well-being.

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