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New Program Could Make Florida Truck Stops Safer

A new program partly funded by an EPA State Grant Program will give Florida truck stops a new look – and will possibly help to prevent Florida car accidents and truck accidents. The program is being administered by the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and will provide different services at some of the truck stops on the Florida Turnpike.

Specifically, the program will allow truckers to enjoy in-cab electricity in order to fuel air conditioning, heating, and gadgets in the cab when truckers stop for a rest. Currently, many truck stops require truckers to idle their engines in order to run electricity to fuel many amenities in their sleeper cabs. The current system wastes fuel and produces more exhaust. Advocates of the new program say that the program will help in many ways:

1) It will reduce fuel use of big trucks. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it will save the trucking industry money, which could mean less pressure on truck companies to push drivers to drive longer than is safe.

2) It will reduce exhaust and pollution. This will mean that truck drivers and workers at truck stops will be healthier. Exhaust from engines can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and other symptoms which are definitely dangerous symptoms for someone driving an 80,000 pound truck.

3) It will reduce wear and tear on commercial truck engines and other crucial systems. Advocates believe the program will help reduce Florida truck accidents and traffic accidents by keeping trucks in better shape for longer. Since the trucks will not need to idle as long, trucks will suffer less damage, which will make them safer on Florida’s roads.

4) It will mean better quality rest for truckers. Keeping a large commercial truck idling produces a lot of noise as well as exhaust. If a driver has to keep his or her truck idling while they sleep in order to heat or cool the cab, the noise and pollution can affect the quality of sleep. In turn, fatigued drivers are at a higher risk of Florida truck accidents than well-rested drivers.

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