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Rest Area Closures

Most people have heard the saying, “If you got it, a truck driver brought it.” This fact is never more noticed than in these times like this world-wide virus, with the effects of quarantines, shutdowns, and closures.

While many stores, restaurants, schools and businesses have closed and sent their staff home to stay safe inside and in keeping with what has been coined “social distancing,” the fact is that there are still many truck drivers out there who are considered essential to make sure much-needed supplies continue to reach the public. They ensure hospitals stay open and food gets to the stores, and gas to the pumps and that this nation’s lights stay on, so to speak.

Many of those truck drivers who are involved in doing these things on a normal day to day job are still out there driving this country’s highways, including this state of Pennsylvania. Some of these long-distance drivers stay out on the road for days and weeks at a time driving hundreds of miles a day. There are many laws governing this system, with hours of allowed driving and on-duty time-per-day and week. No driving after eight hours on duty without a 30-minute break. No driving more than 11 hours in a day or 14 hours on-duty time without 10 hours off, etc, with some exceptions.

Having said all this brings me to my point, which is how wrong it is that with 30 rest areas state-wide on our highways, Governor Wolf has closed all but 13 of them for use! And the ones he has left open and restricted to trucks, he has closed the washrooms, and put portable toilets outside in their place! Is this how Governor Wolf wants to treat such a valuable resource as to limit the use of safe and sanitary places for the motoring public to have a place to rest and use proper bathrooms with sinks and soap to wash their hands?

While I am a truck driver who travels across the state and back each day and have to endure such an inconsiderate and appalling decision by Governor Wolf, I cannot imagine what those drivers who are on the road for days and weeks at a time, who rely on places to eat and shower and sleep have to put up with all the closures to do their job.

Since Governor Wolf has decided to do this, then I think he should show solidarity and close all of the restrooms and sinks to wash in the buildings he works in and put portable toilets outside for his own use. Perhaps if you agree, you can let him know.

KEITH McANDREW

Williamsport

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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