Channel 19

Todd Dills

Washington Post backs truckers?

| April 03, 2009

An online chat between readers and Washington Post blogger and columnist Marc Fisher about a column he wrote on the March announcement of plans to close several rest stops in Virginia yielded this remark from the driver, no doubt, of a four-wheeler:
br Marc,
You missed out on a little yet interesting aspect of the Virginia rest stop debate. Truckers are not only concerned about the closure of rest stops, but even if the rest stops remain open, claim it is their God-given right to use any patch of pavement to park and rest. Their cynical argument: “>If you don’t let us camp out wherever we want, we’ll be sleepy, crash and kill people. That’s right, if you don’t want us killing people left and right, you’d better let us camp out wherever it strikes our fancy.” Mob tactics. To which the Virginia State Police has responded: 1) No. 2) Prepare to be fined. 3) If you have to stop and rest in Virginia, it likely will be for one night. GET A ROOM!

You might not expect a D.C. columnist to go to bat for you, but Fisher most certainly did:
br Why is it cynical for truckers to say that they really need to pull over to the side of the road and take a nap before continuing on? Should they just shell out the bucks and get a room? Maybe, but truckers have to make time, and since they often cannot afford to take a full night off at a motel, it does make sense for the state to accommodate them with rest areas, especially since those areas can be and are used by all other motorists as well. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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