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New rest area and weigh station sensors will soon help truckers find parking faster

Posted at 12:12 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 12:18:18-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Drivers who regularly use I-75 and I-4 may notice new signs near rest areas and weigh stations.

The Florida Department of Transportation is testing its two million dollar commercial truck parking availability system. Starting in May, the signs will use data collected from sensors in the ground to tell truckers how many spaces are available at two weigh stations on I-4 and two rest areas on I-75. FDOT hopes it will help truckers find parking for their federally mandated rest breaks.

“We want to make sure if they’re pulling up to a rest area there are spots available for them or if they know that the next rest area is 30 miles away, they should continue on,” said Kris Carson.

Veteran truck driver Mark McIntire noticed the signs after he dropped off a load in Tampa. He thinks it’s a good idea.

“It’s extremely important because we have to know where parking is. Otherwise we’re gonna waste our driving time,” he said. “That can mess up the entire load.”

Sensors have been installed elsewhere, but this project is the first of its kind in Tampa Bay. Carson says FDOT plans to install the sensors in rest areas across the state.