Yesterday, September 15th, marked a day that all Jason’s Law supporters can celebrate, but the momentum to achieve victory for the bills HR 2156 and S971 to become law must continue.
Jason’s Law, if passed, will secure more adequate and safe parking for professional CDL drivers, and in doing so will allow them to obtain the rest that is required by law, thus eliminating the high rate of truck driver fatigue which is a major cause of fatal truck accidents and truck driver deaths.
The murder of truck driver Jason Rivenburg in March of 2009 brought national awareness of the severe truck parking shortages. Although there’s been many drivers prior to Jason’s death who have also been victims of fatal assaults, and even more after, it has been the tireless actions and commitment of Jason’s widow, Hope Rivenburg, who has allowed the fight for more truck parking to succeed with so much support and momentum.
Yesterday, Senators and Representative phone lines and mail boxes were busy and full, as people nationwide worked together asking for support of Jason’s Law, both in the Senate as S971 and in the House as HR 2156. One of the main numbers for the call-in was NY Senator Charles Schumer, who introduced the bill to the Senate on May 5, 2009. (NY Congressman Paul Tonko introduced it on April 28th to the House). Senator Schumers’ office expressed that the bill was in the Environment and Public Works Committee. With the aid of social media tools, FaceBook and Twitter, the phone numbers of both the majority chairman, Barbara Boxer and the minority ranking member, James M. Inhofe, were displayed and their phone lines immediately became flooded with callers.
Donna spoke extensively with a transportation staffer in James Inhofe’s Washington DC office who said that the lack of truck parking needs to be a priority and that the freight section of many bills have not had the attention they deserve. They are anxiously awaiting to meet with the majority leader, Barbara Boxer, within the committee to discuss the need for more parking and to resolve the issue once and for all.
Today, Hope Rivenburg had a 12:30 conference with staffers of majority chairperson within the committee, Barbara Boxer. They stated that although funds are tight, they plan on addressing the matter and hopefully will bring it to the Senate floor before the end of 2010. They also supported the need for more truck parking and the need for Jason’s Law.
With the positive support of both the Majority and Minority offices within the Senate Environment and Public Works committee where S971 remains, it appears that Jason’s Law will not only be addressed, but will hopefully become law and resolve the 10 year old problem of inadequate truck parking.
Although this is indeed a celebration for the political attention now being taken towards Jason’s Law, it remains to continually be addressed to our representatives and senators to ensure that their focus of the importance continues to remain a top priority.
Please call your senators and representatives, and the Committee majority and minority members within the
Environment and Public Works Committee and continue to support the need for more truck parking