ATA reiterated the need for additional safety legislation – such as Jason’s Law, which would take steps to address the shortage of highway parking for truckers – to protect truck drivers as well as all drivers on the road.
“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, ATA senior vice president of legislative affairs. “We applaud Rep. Tonko for again introducing this critical legislation, and hope Congress will act quickly to deliver for those who deliver America’s goods.”
Jason’s Law is named for New York truck driver Jason Rivenburg, who was murdered for $7 while parked in an abandoned South Carolina gas station. Due to a lack of adequate truck parking, the gas station was the only place to stop and comply with the hours-of-service rule.
“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 explained.
Jason’s Law 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.
“The fact that states have been considering closing existing parking facilities in order to address their budget shortfalls underscores the need for this legislation,” Phillips asserted. “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.”