"If the truckers need to have places to rest, they should provide them themselves or use private facilities," Kenneth A. Briers argues [letters, Nov. 30]. If the truckers' safety were the only public concern, his point might have some validity.

But sleepy truck drivers are a hazard not just to other truck drivers, and not only truckers get sleepy. To paraphrase a quote from the "Man of La Mancha," "Whether the 18-wheeler hits the Volkswagen or the Volkswagen hits the 18-wheeler, the results are very bad for the Volkswagen."

And it's not just a matter of sleepiness or of trucks. The results were very bad indeed for the Hall family when they stopped their Mazda on I-95 near Indian Head Highway and were rear-ended [Metro, Nov. 29]. It seems their 10-year-old son couldn't wait another 45 minutes or so -- assuming smooth traffic -- to relieve himself at the next rest stop. The parents are dead, and their 16-year-old daughter is seriously injured. Also injured is the driver who hit them.

It's a long, long way on I-95 from the last rest stop in Virginia, south of Dale City, to the first rest stop in Maryland near the exits for Columbia and Ft. Meade. Between them are such wonderful traffic challenges as the Springfield mixing bowl, the Wilson Bridge and FedEx Stadium.

The planned National Harbor is almost exactly halfway between the Dale City and Columbia rest stops. Perhaps Maryland will recognize this and establish a rest area on the shore at Wilson Bridge.


Oxon Hill