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Jason’s Law- A tribute to Jason and Hope Rivenburg

Mar
6,
2011
1
iJasons Law- A Tribute to Jason and Hope Rivenburg

Hope Rivenburg

March 5, 2009 is the 2 year observance of the murder of Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver from Fultonham, NY who parked in an abandoned gas station in South Carolina, waiting to make his early morning next day delivery.

Jason was one of many drivers who over the years has found it difficult to find available safe truck parking, and chose the isolated gas station as his safe haven for his evening of rest.  The lack of safe truck parking has been an issue for truckers for over 15 years, and yet little is done to remedy the problem.
Little did Jason know that this would be his last night as 3 thugs targeted him for a robbery, a robbery worthy of his life and the great sum of $7.00.

A few weeks after Jason’s murder, his wife Hope Rivenburg  gave birth to a set of twins. They already had a 2 year old son Joshua.

You would think that this kind of trauma would have put this quiet and non confrontational young mother in a state of dismay, but instead, the young widow with a toddler and 2 infants, discovered  her  true character and personality; courage, commitment, sacrifice and leadership.

Within days of her husbands’ murder, Hope Rivenburg was meeting with NY Congressman Paul Tonko to discuss what could be done to diminish the possibility of any other family having to go through what she and her family had just endured.

On April 28th 2009, Jasons Law was submitted to the House of Representatives as HR 2156. Simply stated Jason’s Law is to implement a pilot program to establish truck parking facilities.

Lack of truck parking causes the following:

1)  Forces drivers to continue to drive while in a fatigued state searching for parking
2)  Forces drivers to drive in excess of HOS ( Hours of Service) breaking Federal Law
3)  Forces drivers to park in isolated and dangerous areas (as was the case of Jason Rivenburg who was shot and killed)
4)  Forces drivers to park on exit and entrance ramps and on shoulders of highway, also dangerous for other motorists.
5)  Due to new CSA 2010 laws, drivers found to be driving in a fatigued state will be given a violation and the maximum number of points against them 10 points!

Over the past 2 years Hope Rivenburg has continued to gather support and recognition for more safe truck parking and the bill HR 2156, “Jason’s Law”.  She has been to Washington lobbying, “knocking on doors” in order to gain co-sponsors for the bill, she has initiated various drives in her home state of New York, she has appeared on talk shows with Congressman Tonko, including  2 episodes of TruthAboutTrucking, “Live” , she has orchestrated National Call ins, hands out numerous flyers, has attended the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Tx, and continually shares the message of the need for more truck parking.

Congressman Paul Tonko will be reintroducing the bill to the house and will be working with Republicans, including the new majority chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, John Mica of Florida.  Congressman Tonko will be our guest on Truth About Trucking “Live” next month as we review with him the progress and optimism of Jason’s Law. Hope Rivenburg will also be invited to participate along with another special guest to be announced.

Recently Congress just passed a seven month extension of the Federal Highway Program, the seventh such short term extension since it expired in September of 2009.

Today we give honor to Jason Rivenburg who lost his life because of the lack of truck parking and to his wife Hope who continues to keep his memory alive by continuing to fight for Jason’s Law and for the many other truckers who struggle and sacrifice daily. Hope is determined not to allow Jason’s death to be in vain. She is the very example of selfless advocacy.

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© 2011 – 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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One Response to Jason’s Law- A tribute to Jason and Hope Rivenburg. - Post a Comment

  1. RCal-ie.com

    I hate to think how many times I was so damn tired driving down the road looking for any place I could fit my truck when truck stop after truck stop was full. I have done the very same thing Jason did too many times to count. It was only by the grace of God that I did not suffer the same fate.

    We would like to think we are too savvy or experienced to end up in that situation. The truth is at one time or another, every person who drives a truck will be in a situation where they will knowingly put their life in jeopardy one way or the other being the lesser of two evils as they see it at the time. There is the very real and present danger of falling asleep at the wheel trying to get to the next possible parking space vs. spinning the wheel of fate and hoping your number does not come up in the space you have found that your truck kind of fits.

    I had thought of a way that states could develop more parking at little cost using the ramps and signage. It unfortunately does not address the personal safety factor. Any area with a large concentration of trucks has drivers who are not checked on until it becomes glaringly obvious something is wrong. That can be days or even weeks in some cases. We cannot be so naive as to believe that those with criminal intentions will not exploit that weakness wherever it may be.

    I find myself fortunate as having survived the road in quite a few bad situations that I would never have been in by choice. I wish all would be so blessed. Jason won’t be the last but let’s hope his sacrifice and Hope’s efforts make Jason the one case that effects change.

    Rob Calhoun
    I was a driver and trainer for a little over ten years. I taught people how to efficiently and effectively do the job of flatbed trucking in a professional manner. I now teach people how to develop a secondary income.
    I’ve tailored a program to meet the needs of over the road drivers so they won’t have to push themselves so hard chasing the money they’re not getting from their companies. Click my profile name to learn more.

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