St. Paul, Minnesota, officially bans truck parking

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, May 25, 2023:

Another half of the Twin Cities votes to scuttle truck parking in city limit

As reported Wednesday, the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, was considering a ban on truck parking on any city street.

After a Wednesday afternoon city council meeting, the votes are in -- truck drivers in the Twin Cities will have to look elsewhere to park unless delivering or picking up freight. Councilmembers voted 7-0 to approve the new ordinance.

St. Paul joins its neighbor, Minneapolis, in banning truck parking in the city. The ordinance mirrors the Minneapolis parking ban in prohibiting any vehicle over 26,000 pounds from parking on any city street unless engaged in loading/unloading or providing a service. It also raises the weight for vehicles restricted from parking in residential districts from 6,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds.

Additionally, instead of the current standard $40 parking citation fee, the new ordinance creates an elevated citation fee of $150 beginning in January 2024, then $250 starting in July 2024.

[Related: Truck parking funding, weight flexibility bills advance in House]

Washington to require bathroom access for truckers

Starting July 23, shippers and receivers in Washington state must provide truckers with access to existing bathrooms thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The new law says truck drivers must be allowed to use an existing bathroom facility located either on the premises of or operated by a shipper or receiver if the restroom is intended to be used by their employees or customers.

The bill received considerable bipartisan support in both the state Senate and House.

The law says:

  • Restrooms must be located in an area where providing access would not create an obvious health or safety risk to the motor carrier
  • There must not be any obvious security, health or safety risk to the shipper, consignee or its employees.
  • A shipper or receiver is not required to make any physical changes to a restroom
  • The shipper or receiver may require that an employee accompany a driver to the restroom
  • The state Department of Health can issue a warning letter for a first violation of the new law and a fine of up to $300 for a subsequent violation

[Related: Bathroom-stall limericks and closed truck-stop showers]

Florida individual pleads guilty in HHG scheme

On May 10, Avraham Zano pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and failure to give up possession of household goods.

In September 2022, Zano, owner of Zano Moving and Storage, LLC, and Sofien Mlayah, an employee of Zano, were indicted for conspiring to steal household goods from victims who hired the company for interstate moving services, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

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OIG said the scheme involved inflating the costs of victims’ moves, taking possession of their goods, and abandoning the property throughout the nation at undisclosed self-storage facilities, often resulting in total loss of the victims’ property.

[Related: Meaningful enforcement needed to fight freight fraud]

Sheetz opens new location with diesel, truck parking

Mid-Atlantic convenience store chain Sheetz on Thursday opened a new location in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, that includes four lanes that offer high-flow diesel fuel and DEF.

The store will also feature 26 free parking spaces, available for overnight parking to truckers. This new location, which will be Sheetz’s 36th store to offer truck diesel fuel lanes, is in close proximity to Interstate 80. 

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