Friday, 13 May 2011

New Version of Trucker Safety Bill Introduced in Congress

A new version of Jason’s Law, which would target the shortage of safe rest areas and truck stops for truck drivers, has been introduced in Congress. Representatives Paul Tonko, Democrat-New York and Erik Paulsen, Republican-Minnesota have introduced the revised version of the bill. The bill would enhance trucker access to rest areas and help truckers have a safe place to park when they need to rest.

Jason’s Law is named after Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver who was killed during an attempted robbery as he parked his tractor trailer at an abandoned gas station. He had found no other place to park his truck safely that night. His widow has spearheaded efforts to pass Jason’s Law, which would provide for the establishment of safe rest areas and truck stops for truck drivers.

Under the law, the federal government would provide $20 million annually for six years, and the money would be used for initiatives to improve the current network of truck stops around the country.

The funds would be used for:
  • Construction of new rest areas including safe parking areas
  • Construction of new parking facilities for commercial motor vehicles next to existing rest areas
  • Promoting the availability of safe truck parking on the National Highway System
  • Construction of turnouts along the National Highway System
  • Improving the state commercial motor vehicle parking facilities currently in existence
  • Enhancing the design of interchanges on the National Highway System so as to facilitate greater access to rest areas
  • Maintenance of existing rest areas and parking facilities for truckers

The bill has been supported not just by trucking industry groups, but also Los Angeles truck accident lawyers. The American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association have both voiced their support for the bill.

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