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Trucking Industry Unites as Jason’s Law is Re-introduced

May
12,
2011
5

Yesterday,  May 11th, 2011 was a victory and display of “Trucking Unity” in Washington D. C.  as supporters gathered for the official announcement of the re-introducing of Jason’s Law H.R. 1803

Joined together  at a press conference with Congressman Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) at the House Triangle outside of the Capitol Building stood Hope Rivenburg, widow of truck driver Jason Rivenburg, along with:

  • Todd Spencer, Executive VP, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)
  • Lisa Mullings, CEO, National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO)
  • Richard Henderson, Director of Government Affairs, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
  • Paul Oakley, Senior VP, American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) and
  • Mary Phillips, Senior VP, American Trucking Association (ATA).

The press conference occurred 1 day after the press release from Congressman Tonko’s office.  The press conference announced the introduction of the bill, Jason’s Law H.R.1803 which would provide increased truck parking facilities across the country, addressing the severe shortages which have been in existence for nearly 2 decades.

HR 1803 will be within an amended version of SAFTEA-LU within the new Transportation Bill.  Funds for the bill will be from an existing congestion mitigation air quality account which would address Republican concerns for “no new spending.”

Hope Rivenburg will be lobbying once again, gathering support for co-sponsors.  The Bill already has bipartisan support with Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-MN as an original co-sponsor.  HR 1803 has now been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Jason’s Law would create a grant program of 20 million dollars per year over 6 years that would help alleviate the parking shortages and help pay for expansion and safety improvements at existing rest areas. Many of the country’s rest areas have been forced to close because of the lack of state funds which has added to the already critical shortage of truck parking.  Sections of HR 1803 will address these rest area closings as – “Truck Parking Inventory.”

The bill will address construction of new parking, improvements to existing commercial parking areas, tracking of open parking spaces and improvements to existing non-commercial parking facilities accommodating large trucks.

Two years ago a similar bill, HR 2156 was introduced by Congressman Tonko to Congress after one of his constituents of Schoharie County, truck driver Jason Rivenburg, was shot and killed as he parked to rest for the evening at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. Because of the isolated location of the gas station, Jason was an easy target for crime (robbery) and his life was taken for a meager $7.00.

He left behind his pregnant wife Hope, a 2 year old son Josh and unborn twins. Unfortunately, this sort of criminal activity is way too common for many truck drivers as they struggle to locate safe haven to rest, finding themselves at many times, to be” sitting ducks” for criminal opportunists due to the truck parking shortages.

The lack of truck parking also causes highway risks as drivers are forced to drive tired attempting to locate available parking, forced to park on exit and entrance ramps and risk breaking federal HOS laws.

Hope Rivenburg spoke to us today and has expressed her gratitude for everyone coming on board with Jasons Law, including Lisa Mullings, CEO of NATSO who personally told her that NATSO is a strong supporter of Jason’s Law.

The bottom line is that the trucking industry is in agreement that the safety of truck drivers should be a major focus. The new federal regulations and proposals being placed upon drivers will greatly enhance the dangers of the truck parking shortages existing. As highway safety is a major concern of the DOT and FMCSA, the need for more truck parking is a vital and key piece to ensure their goal of safety for all.

Hope Rivenburg is a nominee for the “Making a Difference Award” which will be presented at the First Annual Truck Driver Convention in October in Tunica, MS.
Unity and Support for the professional CDL driver will be the theme of this ground breaking event.  Supporters and sponsors thus far for the event include IdleAir, Pilot/FlyingJ, T/A-PetroTravel Centers, Lone Mountain Truck Leasing, OOIDA, The Load Post, The Truckers Forum, Trans Products and Services and Hotels4Truckers.org.

© 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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5 Responses to Trucking Industry Unites as Jason’s Law is Re-introduced. - Post a Comment

  1. Leo

    It is A victory and I hope it beecomes a reality soon enough before another Jason had to die to prove that trucking is a dangerous and hard job

  2. It is good to see this moving forward. All drivers deserve a safe place to park for mandated rest periods.

  3. Andy Warcaba

    This is great news. I wish to congratulate all involved for their insight and willingness to push this legislation forward. Anyone who travels the Interstate Highways during the period of 6PM until 6AM can clearly determine that there is a national truck parking shortage. This results in overloaded rest areas and trucks parking unlawfullly on ramps and shoulders. Rest area parking and amenities should be expanded to meet the growing needs of the interstate traveler.

  4. eclipse

    I bet they do it but strings will be attached. Can you stepped up enforcement along with higher fines?

  5. […] 1803, Congressman Tonko recently announced the re-introduction of the bill, more commonly known as Jason’s Law,  in Washington, D.C. on May 11th, […]

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