There has been once again a growing concern regarding the dangers of Truck Parking Shortages throughout the nation. The recent murder of Michael Boeglin, a trucker parked outside of shipper ThyssenKrupp’s property, waiting to be loaded, has created many folks from all sides of the industry to take a stand and speak up regarding the risks associated from the lack of truck parking. These risks include dangers to professional drivers as well as the motoring public.
The SBTC met with FMCSA & FHWA in Washington, DC on the Safe Truck Parking Issue on Thursday August 14th. SBTC called for Industry-Government Partnerships to identify, solve and reconcile industry and public safety problems and the creation of a Special Dual-Agency Safe Truck Parking Task Force.
August 14, 2014
Mr. Larry Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Mr. Minor:
On behalf of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”), I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) and Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) to discuss what we believe might be a role for FMCSA with respect to Jason’s Law (Sec. 1401 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act “MAP-21”) and the Safe Truck Parking issue.
By way of background, SBTC is a network of transportation professionals, associations, and industry suppliers that is on the front lines when it comes to issues that affect transportation professionals in small business. We seek to promote and protect the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry. We support teamwork, cooperation, transparency, and partnerships among truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers and seek to promote ethical business practices and the utmost integrity. SBTC is a non-profit Florida corporation established as a 501(c)6 business league. SBTC offers this packet to the Agency and FHWA in the interest of stimulating our discussions on this issue and formalizing an industry-government partnership in this and other areas grounded in identifying, solving and reconciling industry and public safety problems.
During the course of researching this issue, we learned that in 2000, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) issued a report (Appendix A) entitled: “Highway Special Investigation Report: Truck Parking Areas.” On page 23 of this report, NTSB stated:
“The Safety Board believes that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in cooperation with the FHWA, ATA, OOIDA, National Private Truck Council (NPTC), and NATSO, should create a comprehensive guide, available both on paper and in electronic format, for all truckdrivers to use that will inform drivers about the locations of all parking areas (both private and public) and the space availability. The FMCSA should also develop a plan for its distribution and maintenance. In addition, the ATA, OOIDA, and NPTC should distribute the guide to their members and urge them to use it to direct drivers to the nearest parking areas.
Fourteen years later, we agree.
SBTC believes that such a guide should be developed to incorporate and address two ideas: (1) best practices with respect to drivers choosing safe places to park and (2) NTSB’s recommendation to help drivers identify the locations of all safe parking areas (both private and public) and the space availability.
In the interest of developing such a guide, we recommend the creation of a dual agency task force, comprised of interested parties and safety advocates, industry and government leaders. Among the interested parties FMCSA & FHWA might choose from are:
Hope Rivenburg, driver safety advocate and widow of trucker murder victim Jason Rivenburg, for whom Jason’s Law is named.
Ashley Boeglin, widow of Michael Boeglin recent trucker murder victim, who has already begun advocating for other drivers’ safety in the aftermath of her loss.
David Clark, father-in-law of Michael Boeglin, who has also started advocating for other drivers’ safety.
Desiree Wood of the 501(c)6 group Real Women in Trucking, women trucking advocate, whose group issued the 2013 “Truck Parking Special Report” (attached hereto as Appendix B), which reports results of a driver survey and was previously filed with Tom Kearney of FHWA.
Allen and/or Donna Smith of Truth About Trucking, who, along with the help of Warcaba & Associates, Ms. Rivenburg and others, were instrumental in creating the survey referenced above.
We also make reference here to FWHA’s 2002 “Study of Adequacy of Commercial Truck Parking Facilities – Technical Report and attach it hereto as Appendix C.
On page 2 of this report, FHWA stated:
“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tentatively estimated that driver fatigue is a primary factor in 4.5 percent of truck-involved fatal crashes and is a secondary factor in an additional 10.5 percent of such crashes.”
SBTC believes that “driver fatigue” is indeed the central problem that FMCSA has properly been tackling, but that this problem has various underlying components that need to be addressed and dealt with by the Agency and safety advocacy groups as well. For instance, notwithstanding bona fide safety concerns surrounding manipulation of paper logs, we would point to how many drivers are concerned that upon implementation of mandated electronic hours of service logging devices (“E-logs’) they might be forced to shut down by a computer in an unsafe location and fall victim, too, along the likes of the late Jason Rivenburg and Michael Boeglin.
Similarly, running out of hours on the 14 hour clock and unreasonable detention time are too often culprits in motivating otherwise ethical and responsible law-abiding drivers to drive while fatigued out of desperation.
Indeed, SBTC believes the mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should transcend the matter of protecting the public from the industry to include protecting and promoting the safety of the members of the industry.
Finally, with respect to the 18 month FHWA study of the state of truck parking facilities in the states mandated by MAP-21, that we understand is currently in progress, the SBTC seeks a mechanism to ensure that once this Federal report is complete, that those states identified with truck parking deficiencies properly use MAP-21 funding to address those deficiencies and we look to the Federal Government to encourage the states not to improperly divert these earmarked funds for unrelated purposes.
Once again, I thank both agencies for this opportunity to share our thoughts and insight into the Safe Truck Parking issue and we look forward to working in partnership with the government to tackle this and other important issues.
JAMES P. LAMB,
SBTC has requested that a best practices guide and parking directory be developed to assist truckers in finding a safe haven while on the road.
Safe Truck Parking Resources:
Real Women in Trucking 2013 Truck Parking Special Report (Survey):
FHWA 2013 Presentation: http://www.smalllinks.com/36RW
FHWA 2002 Report: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/01158/01158.pdf
NTSB 2000 Report: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR0001.pdf