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Truck drivers better left to sleep, legal to park on exit, entrance ramps

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Question: Why do Minnesota law enforcement agencies overlook the semi-trailer trucks that park on exit and entrance ramps on interstate 94? State law prohibits this however this law is not enforced.

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Answer: When you are entering the entrance ramp you will see a sign that indicates there is no pedestrian traffic or non-emergency parking allowed.

It could be said that such law is enforceable beyond that sign. Now one could argue that as long as the semi is not beyond that sign then it could possibly be legal to park there.

Most officers I have talked with have said they do not want to get into a hair splitting argument. If the driver is really that tired they would just as soon see him/her rest up near the top of the ramp instead of jeopardizing public safety by trying to make it to the next wayside rest, especially if the next rest area is many miles away.

I haven't noticed this very much but must admit I do not live near I-94 and perhaps just haven't had the opportunity to notice it. After all it is usually daylight when I travel that road. Should there start to be larger numbers of trucks stopping at one ramp I am sure the officers will take a different stance. Be careful out there!

Here are some simple tasks to help you avoid being in a crash: turn on your lights; drive sober; stop talking on the cell phone; slow down; and because not every driver out there is as careful as you, buckle up.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota send your questions to Trooper Andy Schmidt, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205 or reach me at, andrew.schmidt@state.mn.us.

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