Several trucking organizations on Wednesday, May 11, held a press conference to reaffirm their support for Jason’s Law, safety legislation that would provide $20 million annually for a number of initiatives to improve access to truck parking across the country, ranging from construction of new parking capacity and improvements to existing commercial parking areas, to technology to track open parking spaces and improvements to existing noncommercial parking facilities to accommodate large trucks.
“America’s professional truck drivers need access to safe and legal parking in order to get the rest they need to safely transport the nation’s essential goods and comply with federal hours-of-service rules,” said Mary Phillips, senior vice president of legislative affairs for the American Trucking Associations. “We applaud Representative (Paul) Tonko (D-N.Y.) for again introducing this critical legislation, and hope Congress will act quickly to deliver for those who deliver America’s goods.”
Jason’s Law (H.R. 1803) is named for New York truck driver Jason Rivenburg, who was murdered for $7 while parked in an abandoned South Carolina gas station where he was to deliver a load of milk. Due to a lack of adequate truck parking, the gas station was the only place to stop and comply with the hours of service.
“Our drivers shouldn’t be forced into the ‘no-win’ situation of choosing between continuing to drive to find safe parking or parking on the shoulder or ramp or other location that puts themselves or other motorists at risk,” Phillips said. “The fact that states have been considering closing existing parking facilities in order to address their budget shortfalls underscores the need for this legislation. If left unaddressed, the lack of truck parking will reach a crisis stage. Over the next 9 years, we will add nearly 2 million more trucks to our roads to meet our nation’s freight demand.”
Joining ATA in supporting the bill’s reintroduction were NATSO, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Moving and Storage Association. “Safety and security for America’s professional truck drivers is a top priority for the truckstop and travel plaza community,” said Lisa Mullings, NATSO president and chief executive officer. “NATSO members are committed to meeting their customers’ needs for safe parking and to helping them access secure places to park.”