Virginia DMV won’t allow truck drivers to park overnight at Troutville weigh station after “increasing incidents of vandalism”

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 11:53 PM EST
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Truck drivers are no longer allowed to park overnight at the Troutville weigh station. The Virginia DMV asked Virginia State Police to start enforcing the new policy.

One truck driver explained how taking away another parking option can impact their work.

“The biggest problem is looking at truck stops around here, there’s nowhere to park,” Shawn Canada said. “It just makes it hard for drivers trying to make a living every day.”

Canada stopped at the Troutville rest area along I-81 with his family Monday night to take a quick break. He explained the lack of truck parking spots across the region can make it difficult to meet deadlines.

“If we can’t stop, if we’re still running on our hours, you’re stuck,” Canada said. “There’s a lot of times we’ll see drivers piled up down the streets and that’s not safe to be on the side of the highway out here. There’s just not enough parking.”

Truckers were allowed to park at the weigh station while the Virginia Department of Transportation was renovating the Troutville rest area. But a spokesperson from the DMV said in an emailed statement, that’s no longer an option.

“As much as we’ve been pleased to offer this service to truck drivers passing through our Stephens City and Troutville weigh stations, we are no longer able to provide it due to increasing incidents of littering, vandalism, and unsanitary practices,” director of communications Brandy Brubaker said. “In addition to the Troutville Rest Area, truck drivers in the area can visit the nearby Pilot Travel Center in Raphine.”

WDBJ7 asked the Virginia DMV for further comment about the incidents, but was declined an interview.

VDOT added 12 truck parking spots during a project to expand the ramps.

“Certainly truck parking along the interstate 81 corridor is at a premium,” Jason Bond said. “These 12 spaces should help with drivers maybe finding another place to park overnight.”

The public information officer with Virginia State Police explained before the ramp expansion, the lack of parking was dangerous for drivers.

“For years, we’ve had issues with truck parking at the 158 rest area,” Sergeant Rick Garletts said. “It would fill up inside and then back out onto the interstate which obviously caused problems. We’ve had a couple fatalities there.”

The VDOT Truck Parking Task Force is looking at ways to increase the number of parking spots along the highway.

“I wish there was more free parking because a lot of the trucks stops are now charging for parking and these rest areas are key,” Canada said.