US trucking groups back proposed reintroduction of Jason’s Law

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the US trucking industry are applauding the proposed reintroduction of Jason’s Law, which looks to address truck parking shortages and improve conditions at current truck parking facilities.

US Congressmen Paul Tonko (NY-D) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) are co-sponsors of the reintroduction of Jason’s Law, which would create a grant program to help alleviate the parking shortages and pay for safety improvements at existing rest areas.
Tonko and Paulsen had previously introduced Jason’s Law in the US House to address the truck parking shortage and improve conditions at current truck parking facilities. The new bill was announced yesterday at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

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 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.

“We would like to thank Mr. Tonko and Mr. Paulsen for their leadership and Hope for her tenacious dedication and courage,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). “The trucking industry faces a litany of issues, and the least we can do is to make sure drivers have a safe place to rest while delivering the nation’s goods.”

The American Trucking Associations also affirmed its support for Jason’s Law. “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,” Mary Phillips, ATA senior vice-president of legislative affairs said at the press conference. “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.”

“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.

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 said. “If left unaddressed, the lack of truck parking will reach a crisis stage; over the next nine years, we will add nearly two million more trucks to our roads to meet our nation’s freight demand.”

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