WASHINGTON, D.C. – Proposed legislation in the U.S. that would dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to increase truck parking spaces has been welcomed by truckers.
H.R. 6104, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, was introduced March 9 by U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN), members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Its primary focus would be to construct new truck parking facilities and to convert existing weigh stations and rest areas into functional parking spaces for truckers.
“After decades of ignoring the problem, Congress is finally getting serious about fixing the severe lack of truck parking across the country. Finding a safe place to park is something most people take for granted, but it’s a daily struggle for hundreds of thousands of truckers,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO. “Congressman Bost and Congresswoman Craig have shown they not only understand truckers are experiencing a crisis, but have the mettle to address it through ground-breaking, bipartisan legislation.”
The legislation was also welcomed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the National Motorists Association.
“Truck parking consistently ranks as one of the most important issues for the TCA and trucking stakeholders across the country,” said Dave Heller, vice-president of government affairs with TCA. “On a daily basis, our companies’ drivers face dangerous conditions due to the lack of safe and convenient parking options. TCA applauds Representatives Bost and Craig for their dedication to resolving this critical safety obstacle through this legislation, which will devote significant funding toward the development of suitable parking on our nation’s highways.”
“Truck drivers perform a valuable service to our economy – moving more than 70% of our nation’s goods – and having opportunities to safely rest is an important part of that,” added ATA president and CEO Chris Spear. “Representatives Bost and Craig recognition that in order to do their jobs, truck drivers need places where they can safely park and rest is overdue and we applaud them for their leadership in introducing this important legislation.”
According to the ATA, nearly half of all truck drivers report being forced to park on the shoulders of highways or other unofficial, unsafe locations due to lack of parking. On average, the cost of looking for parking amounts to US$5,500 in lost wages annually.
“One of the persistent complaints our drivers have is that they struggle to find safe parking,” said ATA chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express Inc., New Orleans. “This bill will provide the means to help address that concern.”
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