Since the June 26th murder of truck driver Michael Boeglin in Detroit, much attention has been directed towards the serious lack of truck parking crisis and its direct association with truck driver fatigue and driver safety.
Not only is there already insufficient truck parking, but there are additional hindrances which further enhance the existing crisis, intensifying the safety hazards for professional drivers.
Other obstacles which are exacerbating the parking shortage and driver risk include:
Forced to Park Illegally– Because of the combination of lack of truck parking and the HOS of service rule, which prevents truckers from driving after their allowed hours of driving time, truckers at times are forced to pull over on the side of a road to rest, many times on an exit or entrance ramp, causing severe highway safety risks for themselves and the general public.
Shippers and Receivers – According to the data of the 2013 Truck Parking Survey, a major problem drivers are faced with is their pick up and deliveries at shippers and receivers. Many time drivers arrive early and are not allowed to park on the property of either, even though many facilities have ample parking available. Again this was the case for Jason Rivenburg who parked in a nearby abandoned gas station.
Forced to Park in unsafe surroundings – Drivers are forced many times to park in unsafe surroundings in order to get their much needed rest. This was the case for Jason Rivenburg, who parked in an abandoned gas station waiting to be able to unload his early morning delivery, which resulted in his violent death. Jason was an open target for predators as he parked in an isolated area and was shot and killed before he could make his early morning delivery at Food Lion.
In response to the previous article on AskTheTrucker,‘ What the General Public needs to know about Highway Safety, Truck Driver Fatigue, and Truck parking’ Tim Taylor of NetworkFOB has responded on LinkedIn and to his mailing list with the following statement.
It is our hope that the rest of the Industry will follow his lead with this call
Response by Tim Taylor-Executive Chairman at Network FOB
“As a company we would like to have our agents support our efforts to implement Jason’s Law, a law written to make parking safer for drivers. The law is in place, the implementation is not.
The basics are this:
Truck driver Jason Rivenburg, kissed his 2-year old son and pregnant wife good-bye on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. He dropped a load in Virginia and then headed off to his second delivery in South Carolina. He was 12 miles away from his destination when he needed to pull off the road. He was ahead of schedule and trucks are not allowed to show up at delivery sites early. The only place he had to park was an abandoned gas station – he’d heard through the grapevine it was safe.
The grapevine was wrong. Jason was murdered in his truck that night. His killer stole $7.00. Thirteen days later, his wife Hope gave birth to twins.
We as a company and as an industry need to help ensure the safety of drivers. If you tweet, tweet about it, if you LinkIn post about it. If you simply want to help in other ways, talk to shippers, receivers, drivers and dispatchers about it. This is something to give back to those who do so much for us. Nobody should have to place themselves in dangerous places to comply with rest requirements. The new HOS regulations demand more rest periods, those places to rest should be safe.
Read about Jason’s Law here: http://jhlrivenburg.com/cgi/wp/
Elite Freight Agents (all Network FOB personnel are invite to join our group)”
This is not the first time that Mr. Taylor has expressed concern for professional drivers as he contacted us 7/23/14 on Twitter with this tweet.
In response to Tim’s request, AskTheTrucker created the Jasons Law Bullet Point
“Jasons Law for Improved Highway Safety Addressing Truck Driver Fatigue”
Tim continued to express his concerns for professional drivers by stating to me personally,
“I personally abhor the practices of some shippers (warehouses etc) that abuse or mistreat drivers. I don’t like mistreatment by anybody to anybody. A driver at the bottom end of the economic scale is especially vulnerable to the “system”, being forced basically to sleep in unsafe areas”
AskTheTrucker applauds Mr Taylor for taking this vocal and moral step, supporting the hard working truckers of this country, and acknowledging the obstacles and sacrifices they endure.
Related reading by Tim Taylor “High responsibility cannot be compensated with low pay”
© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.