Despite receiving $694.5 million for highway projects in the federal stimulus package, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is planning to close 25 of the state's 42 Interstate highway rest areas.
VDOT's Statewide Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center Master Plan Draft states, “The presence of safety rest areas has a direct correlation to a reduction in the number of shoulder stop and driver fatigue-related accidents.”
Closing rest areas would encourage drivers to make stops along the shoulders of the highways, a dangerous practice. A man was struck and killed on the shoulder of I-95 in Maryland recently when he stopped to switch drivers. Removing safety rest stations also hinders truck drivers' ability to meet federal hours-of-service regulations and causes unsafe situations for all motorists on the road.