SmartPark a pilot program to help truck drivers battling fatigue - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

SmartPark a pilot program to help truck drivers battling fatigue on the road

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This is a pilot program that leaders are trying out for six months called SmartPark. It lets truck drivers see on a website in real time, if there's space for them to pull off inside a lot.

It even gives them the option to reserve a spot online.

When your office is on the open road time and money go hand in hand.

Thomas Dotson knows the industry all too well, he's been hauling freight for 43 years.

Thomas Dotson, truck driver, " It's all I've ever done, so I guess it's been fair."

Federal regulations require drivers to rest between shifts to help stop fatigue-related crashes.

Jennifer Flynn, TDOT, "A truck crash can shut the interstate down for a long long time."

But Dotson says following regulations can become a challenge when space is limited, especially at certain times.

Thomas Dotson, "You're pretty much doomed. There's no more parking on the ramps, rest areas are full, truck stops are full. We have more trucks than we've got space."

Which is why Tt-dot is teaming up with federal motor carrier safety administration for a project called SmartPark. The pilot is aimed at making stops easier and quicker for truckers.

Jennifer Flynn, " To look into the feasibility of truckers reserving spaces and finding out real time parking availability while on the road."

TDOT helped refurbish this old parking area on I-75 north at mile marker 23. Once it's finished, truckers can reserve spots and see availability online.

Thomas Dotson, "If you're out of hours, you have got to get off the road."

And hopefully make it easier for folks like Dotson to get back in the fast lane.

There is another SmartPark site that's already up and running near the 45-mile marker.

There's no word on a date when the one at mile marker 23 will be open but we're told it will be soon.

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