The Maryland governor's office has produced a new mobile application that gives truckers in the state a list of nearby emergency parking locations to ride out coming winter storms.
Maryland’s Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley announced the pilot for this program alongside the Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA) and I-95 Corridor Coalition, saying it will give drivers quick access to locations and lots that can act as safe havens for truckers to ride out snow storms of six inches or more, instead of having them park alongside highway ramps and shoulders.
The app has a Website backup
with an interactive map that allows the downloading of routes and locations.
“Snow emergencies often result in truck drivers scrambling to find a safe haven,” said MMTA president Louis Campion. “MMTA applauds the Department of Transportation for undertaking this pilot to maximize available parking around the state for those professional drivers who find themselves on the road during major winter events.”
The app can be accessed from the iPhone, iPad, Androids running version 2.2 and above, and BlackBerrys running version 6 and above of its software.
The app highlights a smart innovation as well as the problem of these services not being available on dashboard systems. Maryland laws prohibit the use of mobile apps and texts while driving, so drivers must either pull off the road to check the app legally or check it when stopped for another road like refueling. An integration with an on-board system could easily allow these services to work with the driver without violating state laws — and possible federal laws in the works.