Trucking Association Still Hopes to Move 'Jason's Law'

Legislation in Congress would authorize $120 million to improve truckers' rest areas on the National Highway System. Its name honors a trucker killed March 5 after he parked at an abandoned gas station in Orangeburg, S.C.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) hopes Congress will advance legislation known as "Jason's Law" that would allow DOT to make truckers' rest areas on the National Highway System safer. The legislation is carried in two bills, H.R. 2156 in the House of Representatives and S. 971 in the Senate. The House bill is before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, while the Senate bill is before the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The bills are named for a New York truck driver, Jason Rivenburg, 35, who was shot to death in an apparent robbery March 5 while parked at an abandoned gas station in Orangeburg, S.C. "ATA supports this critical legislation and urges quick action in Congress," said Bill Graves, ATA's president and CEO. "The parking shortage for commercial motor vehicles compromises the safety of drivers on the road and requires a comprehensive solution involving all parties." The shortage of truck parking on interstates and other federal highways has been a problem for some time, according to ATA; an ATA Safety Task Force Report in 2008 recommended action on the problem.

"Jason's Law" would provide $20 million in grants for fiscal years 2010 through 2015 to build safety rest areas that include parking for commercial motor vehicles and to build commercial motor vehicle parking facilities adjacent to commercial truck stops and travel plazas. The legislation also would open existing facilities (including inspection stations, weigh stations, and park-and-ride lots) to commercial motor vehicle parking.

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