WASHINGTON — Two safety organizations have written a letter of support to Congress regarding the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act.
The Institute for Safer Trucking and Road Safe America sent a joint letter on Oct. 2 in favor of the proposed legislation.
“As organizations committed to promoting truck safety, we are writing to express our strong support for the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act,” the letter states. “We believe that this legislation is an important step toward improving the safety and well-being of commercial truck drivers, as well as other road users.”
On Tuesday, May 23, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed an amended version of the act by a vote of 60-4.
Known officially as HR2367, the parking act would provide $755 million over three years to expand truck parking capacity.
The next step will be markup hearings before a bill moves to the full House for a vote.
“The shortage of safe and accessible truck parking spaces is a significant problem that affects drivers across the country,” according to the letter. “The lack of available parking spaces can force drivers to park in unsafe and illegal locations, such as highway shoulders and off-ramps. This creates a dangerous situation for both the truck drivers themselves and other road users.”
The Truckload Carrier’s Association (TCA) said it applauds the proposed act.
“This positive outcome represents a significant step forward in enhancing driver safety, ensuring compliance with federal regulations and improving the operational efficiency of the trucking industry,” according to a TCA statement.
Currently, the trucking industry is facing a critical shortage of parking spaces, with a ratio of just one parking spot for every 11 drivers, according to the TCA.
“This legislation highlights the Committee’s dedication to resolving the persistent challenge of truck parking shortages, which have long posed safety risks and hindered the productivity of supply chains,” the TCA said in its statement. “Adequate truck parking facilities allow drivers to take necessary rest breaks, comply with federal Hours of Service regulations, and effectively manage their schedules, leading to increased efficiency and improved road safety for all.”
Independent Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President and CEO Todd Spencer also lauded the committee’s approval of the parking act.
“OOIDA and our 150,000 members thank lawmakers from both parties who came together to advance this critical bill through the committee, and we encourage the U.S. Senate to follow their lead by stepping up to address American truckers’ top safety concern,” Spencer said.
Over at the American Trucking Associations (ATA), President and CEO Chris Spear pointed to the parking act and several other pieces of legislation as positive measures for the trucking industry.
“The comprehensive and bipartisan bills that advanced today would address some of the root causes of ongoing supply chain challenges and improve the overall safety, efficiency and resiliency of freight transportation,” Spear said. “ATA has repeatedly engaged with Congress to discuss persistent challenges facing our industry, and we thank Chairman Graves for his attention to these issues and for his leadership of today’s markup. We also commend the bill sponsors who worked with us and other key stakeholders to craft solutions that would benefit our industry, the economy, and American consumers.”
The Institute for Safer Trucking and Road Safe America letter concluded by saying, “If we are truly going to improve safety throughout the trucking industry, it is essential to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of commercial truck drivers. By providing safe and accessible truck parking facilities, we can help ensure that drivers can rest and recharge. This will not only improve safety in the short term by reducing crashes, but it will also improve it in the long term. By improving truck drivers’ experiences on the road, the industry can improve retention of safe, experienced drivers.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.