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Truck Drivers, Deprived of Rest Stations, Turn Highway Shoulder Into Napping Spot

Long-haul truck drivers on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway have taken to pulling over on the hard shoulder overnight to take naps, posing danger to passing motorists.

Though the highway between Saigon and the Mekong Delta opened in 2010, Tuoi Tre recently reported that over the last year, an increasing number of truck drivers traveling on it are stopping to rest despite police's attempts to issue fines. Car drivers claim that the trucks illegally parked on the hard shoulder, and sometimes even in the driving lane, force them to slow down and pose dangerous risks for potential accidents.

The drivers claim they need the naps to safely continue their journeys, and there simply isn't enough space at the two rest stations that opened in 2017. They, therefore, are willing to risk being robbed or being fined by authorities. One trucker explained to the news source: "This is the last resort as we have no other option. If we continue driving while feeling exhausted, we will likely cause an accident."

In response to the growing problem, authorities have placed signs warning truckers of fines. Since April they have observed nearly 1,000 instances of drowsy drivers pulling over to chase a couple of sheep. 

Trucks are typically given informal deference on the road by smaller vehicles, and in recent years there have been a number of high-profile accidents involving intoxicated drivers. Some of the incidents involved purely recreational substances like heroin and alcohol, while in other incidents, offenders were found to be under the influence of methamphetamines, which could suggest drivers are relying on uppers to maximize time and distance traveled without sleep.

[Photo via Pxhere]

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