Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act

Truck Parking Gains Traction: Advocating for Safer Roads

Truck parking, a topic often overlooked by many, has recently been thrust into the spotlight at the federal level. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, represented by HR2367 in the House and S1034 in the Senate, has garnered significant attention and support from lawmakers to address the chronic shortage of truck parking spaces across the United States. The issue, long simmering in the background, has gained momentum, particularly in September.

Bipartisan Support Grows

On September 26, Representative Kathy Manning of North Carolina became the latest legislator to co-sponsor HR2367, further boosting the bill’s momentum. She joined a growing list of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, including Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Eric Houchin (R-Ind.), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.), and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.). As of September 28, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act boasts 37 co-sponsors, signifying the growing bipartisan support for this critical issue.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senators Tammy Duckworth and Richard Durbin of Illinois added their names to S1034, the Senate counterpart of the bill, on September 27. Earlier, on September 13, Senators J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) had already pledged their support. In total, S1034 now has 11 co-sponsors. This united front from lawmakers underscores the urgency of addressing truck parking challenges in the nation.

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act: A Solution in Sight

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act proposes a substantial allocation of $755 million over three years for the construction of additional truck parking spots. Crucially, the bill mandates that any projects funded under its provisions must offer free, publicly accessible parking. Paid parking is not to be included, ensuring truckers are not burdened with additional costs for this essential resource.

This legislation responds to the ongoing issues truck drivers face, who often struggle to find safe and accessible parking spots, leading to fatigue and unsafe driving conditions. The Act aims to alleviate this problem by providing much-needed funding for new parking facilities.

Advocacy and Action

On September 11, stakeholders, led by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), made a concerted effort to urge House leadership to consider the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act for discussion on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during the fall session. Their plea emphasizes the importance of addressing the shortage of truck parking spaces to ensure safer roads and more efficient freight transportation.

For those who want to support the bill and see it become law, there is a simple way to take action. Visit FightingForTruckers.com and click the “Tell your Lawmakers to Support the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act” link. By filling out the form provided, concerned citizens can have their voices heard, and their support automatically sent to their federal lawmakers.

Federal Grants for Truck Parking

Complementing legislative efforts, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a significant development earlier this month. Over $80 million in grant awards were allocated, with a portion dedicated to improving truck parking facilities. The goal of these grants is to reduce the frequency and severity of commercial motor vehicle accidents on the nation’s roads while also enhancing the well-being of truck drivers.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg applauded the funding, emphasizing the national responsibility to support the safety and job quality of truck drivers. Investments in critical technology, security in work zones, rural areas, high crash corridors, and expanded access to truck parking all contribute to achieving safer roads and better working conditions for drivers.

Local Initiatives Address Truck Parking

In Laramie, Wyoming, the Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt announced the addition of 200 new truck parking spaces along Interstate 80. These spaces ensure safe and efficient freight movement, particularly during winter snow and ice storm operations.

Furthermore, a new data visualization tool was unveiled to simplify access to localized freight data. This tool will help states and local governments plan for the rise in freight transportation and the movement of goods across the nation. It represents a crucial step in addressing the issue of truck parking shortages by providing data-driven insights into where additional parking facilities are most needed.

Buttigieg’s Emphasis on Truck Parking

During an event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on September 12, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg underscored the importance of truck parking. He emphasized that while it might not be on most Americans’ minds daily, it is an issue of vital importance. Truck parking directly impacts the safety of drivers and the efficiency of the transportation system.

Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the legislation in both the House and Senate that seeks to expand rest area capacity. He urged all Americans to send a clear message to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., that addressing truck parking shortages is crucial for the entire nation.

Truck parking is no longer an issue relegated to the background. With growing bipartisan support in Congress, significant federal grants, and local initiatives, the United States is taking steps to address the critical shortage of truck parking spaces. Advocates are hopeful that with continued momentum, truckers will have safer and more accessible places to rest, ultimately resulting in improved road safety for all.

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