Rep. Wild Co-Sponsors Bill to Improve Truck Parking and Highway Safety

April 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 29, 2021, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) joined U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN) to introduce H.R.2187, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, which would improve highway safety by addressing a critical shortage in available parking for semis and large commercial trucks. The lack of safe parking interferes with operators’ ability to take necessary rest periods to avoid driver fatigue, which compromises highway user safety. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act would establish a set-aside source of funding from existing U.S. Department of Transportation funding to create more parking spots.

“I’m proud to support truckers and the integral role they play in keeping our country going, especially during a pandemic that has made abundantly clear the necessity of resilient supply chains and infrastructure,” said Rep. Wild. “The Truck Parking Improvement Act is a necessary step towards promoting safety and protecting this vital industry and the hardworking Americans who transport goods across the country every day.”

“I grew up in a family trucking business and spent years driving over the road,” said Rep. Bost. “Since then, we’ve seen the need for more trucks and drivers increase significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when trucking helped to keep our economy going. However, the number of truck parking spaces hasn’t kept pace. That means that drivers are forced to park in unsafe locations, which puts both them and other motorists at risk. Creating sufficient parking options for long-haul truckers will not only help keep truckers safe during their rest breaks but will also mean safer roads for everyone.”

“Without adequate parking, truck drivers are forced to pull to the side of the road or continue driving – both of which are risky,” said Rep. Craig. “I’m proud to join Representative Bost to reintroduce the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act which would increase truck parking spaces and improve safety for the folks who transport our goods and everyone on our roads.”

“Truckers often wonder if anyone in Washington is listening,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “The introduction of the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act shows that not only are some Members of Congress listening, but lawmakers from across the political spectrum are willing to step up and address one of the greatest concerns for professional drivers – the national shortage of safe truck parking. OOIDA is proud to support this important legislation and will continue to work with our bipartisan champions and industry partners to get it passed.”

“The severe shortage of safe parking presents truckers with an untenable dilemma: either keep driving when they are fatigued and possibly in violation of their federal hours-of-service requirement—or park in unsafe, sometimes illegal locations, such as a roadside shoulder,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The health and wellbeing of our drivers, the safety of the motoring public, and the sustainability of our supply chain all depend on Congress addressing this issue with adequate funding in a surface transportation bill. Fortunately, Representatives Bost, Craig, Garamendi, Wild, Johnson, and Stauber have answered that call, and we thank them for their unwavering leadership on this critical issue."

In 2012, Congress passed Jason’s Law in honor of Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver who lost his life in a violent crime because he couldn’t find safe parking. Jason’s Law established federal studies, stakeholder meetings, and roundtables to examine truck parking issues. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act would build on the results of these studies.

Along with Rep. Wild, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act is co-sponsored by Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Pete Stauber (R-MN)). In addition, it is supported by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the American Trucking Association, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, American Highway Users Alliance, and the Institute for Safer Trucking.

Rep. Wild is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and is a Vice Chair of the Labor Caucus.

 

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