It’s been over 2 years now since the murder of truck driver Jason Rivenburg. By now, most everyone within the trucking industry is familiar with the story of New York state resident and OTR truck driver, Jason Rivenburg who was shot and killed as he parked for the evening to rest in an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.
The senseless murder is not the first of its kind regarding violent actions towards truck drivers as they park to rest. Professional drivers have been facing a significant shortage of truck parking for many years ( over 20) and it is all too common for drivers to have to park on exit or entrance ramps, highway shoulders or in isolated areas, as Jason did. Adding to the existing lack of truck parking problem is the recent closing of many state rest areas due to budget deficits.
The combination of the serious lack of safe truck parking, combined with the traumatic loss of her husband, caused the young widow, Hope Rivenburg, to make a stand for all drivers. She instinctively began addressing in Washington, D. C. the serious truck parking problem that drivers face daily, as they attempt to find a safe haven to take their needed and federally required rest. She has not stopped since.
Shortly after the death of her husband Jason, Hope and her family contacted and met with NY Assemblyman Peter Lopez and NY Congressman Paul Tonko. On April 28th 2009, Congressman Tonko brought legislation for bill HR 2156 to the house floor.
Jason’s Law, as it was called, was introduced as a 6 year Pilot Program for $20 million per year, for the purpose of providing safe and adequate parking for professional CDL drivers.
For the last two years since her husbands’ death, Hope has been lobbying , making phone calls to Washington, having fund raisers and doing whatever it takes to ensure the passing of Jason’s Law…the hope for drivers to have safe places to rest. Take a look at her journal for just the year 2009 to get an idea of what she has accomplished.
On May 11th 2011, Congressman Tonko held a press conference to announce the reintroducing of Jason’s Law as bill HR 1803. Along with Representative Tonko was Hope Rivenburg and supporters from various organizations within the Industry: OOIDA, NATSO, AMSA, CVSA and the ATA.
Hope is now preparing to go back to Washington to lobby once again for professional drivers, trying to acquire more co-sponsors for Jason’s Law. She pays for this herself….and she does it for others.
Last week on our Truth About Trucking radio show with guests Hope Rivenburg and Congressman Tonko, Hope announced that the next National call-in day for Jason’s Law will be June 23rd 2011. From 9 am to 5 PM, she is asking everyone to call their representatives. Congressman Tonko explained on the show how to address your concerns with the staffer when you call. If you missed the show you can listen to the replay.
If you believe that there is a need for more safe truck parking, then we all must do our part. Make the call to your representatives on June 23rd!
Don’t know who they are? Washington Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121 or 1-800-962-3524
- Locate your Congressman online
- Informative video : “How to Call Congress”
Ask for the transportation staffer and then explain that you would like them to support Jason’s Law, HR 1803. Be ready to explain why it is so important to you, which should be easy.
Here is what one trucker is doing to further his support for Jason’s Law:
Dan Fuller of Hotels4Truckers LLC posted the “Call in Day for Jason’s Law” on his ad in The Trucker newspaper. Thanks, Dan!
For those who would like to help Hope Rivenburg out with her traveling expenses back and forth to Washington:
1) Donations can be made to:
Jason Rivenburg Memorial Fund
c/o Trustco Bank
1900 Altamont Ave.
Rotterdam, NY 12303
2) Order “When the Big Rigs Don’t Roll” CD with the song “Say a Prayer for Jason”
David Ayers and Barry Allen are continuing to donate a % of the proceeds to Hope and her family.
© 2011 – 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.