Original article published by Safety+Health
Washington — Bipartisan legislation recently reintroduced in the House and Senate aims to address a nationwide shortage of safe places for truck drivers to park and rest.
Federal hours-of-service regulations require truck drivers to take breaks after being behind the wheel for long periods. A lack of safe parking areas ranked third on the American Transportation Research Institute’s list of top trucking industry concerns, released in October.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act (S. 1034 and H.R. 2367) would empower the transportation secretary to issue grants for projects that create truck parking, including $175 million for fiscal year 2024 and a combined $580 million over the next two fiscal years.
Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced the Senate version of the bill, while Reps. Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN) introduced the bill’s companion in the House.
“I grew up in a family trucking business,” Bost said in a March 29 press release. “I understand how difficult, and oftentimes dangerous, it can be when America’s truckers are forced to push that extra mile in search of a safe place to park. By expanding access to parking options for truckers, we are making our roads safer for all commuters and ensuring goods and supplies are shipped to market in the most efficient way possible.
“This is a matter of public safety; and I’m committed to do all I can to drive this legislation over the finish line.”
In a separate press release, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear calls the legislation “vital.”
“The lack of safe and accessible truck parking places an enormous and costly burden on our nation’s truck drivers as they work to deliver for the American people,” Spear said. “Given the chronic nature of this issue and its national scope, it is imperative Congress takes action to provide dedicated funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity.”
Lawmakers introduced similar bills in the previous session of Congress.
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