March 14, 2012

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Final Senate Passage of Truck Stop Safety Measure, Call on House Leadership to Immediately Follow Suit

“Jason's Law” Would Prioritize Funding to Address Shortage of Parking for Commercial Vehicles on National Highways

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that “Jason’s Law,” a measure to increase security and improve conditions at truck stops across the country is included in the Transportation Reauthorization bill that has passed the full Senate. The legislation is named in honor of Schoharie County trucker Jason Rivenburg, who tragically lost his life during a robbery attempt on March 5, 2009 while resting at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. 

“With today’s passage, the Senate has sent a clear message that we must protect the truckers who work so hard on behalf of New York businesses, and are so essential to keeping our economy humming,” said Senator Schumer. “Jason’s Law will help New York and states from coast to coast keep truckers safe while they’re on the road by providing better parking and safer rest stops. This is an important step forward in honoring Jason Rivenburg’s life, and ensuring that we make the roads safer in the wake of his tragic death.” 

“After losing her husband to heartbreaking tragedy, Hope Rivenburg made the case to lawmakers in Washington that protecting truck drivers at road stops must be a priority,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that first included the measure in its version of the Transportation Reauthorization bill. “Jason’s Law takes the right steps to ensure we’re giving truck drivers the protections they need with safe and secure parking facilities so we can prevent tragedies, and save lives.” 

“Jason’s Law” authorizes funding to be spent on truck parking facilities and identifies that it is a national priority to address the shortage of long-term parking for commercial motor vehicles and the safety of drivers.

Projects eligible to be funded with highway safety funds include:

  • Constructing safety rest areas that include parking for commercial motor vehicles.
  • Constructing commercial motor vehicle parking facilities adjacent to commercial truck stops and travel plazas.
  • Opening existing facilities to commercial motor vehicle parking, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities.
  • Promoting the availability of publicly or privately provided commercial motor vehicle parking on the National Highway System using intelligent transportation systems and other means.
  • Constructing turnouts along the National Highway System for commercial motor vehicles.
  • Making capital improvements to public commercial motor vehicle parking facilities currently closed on a seasonal basis to allow the facilities to remain open year-round.
  • Improving the geometric design of interchanges on the National Highway System to improve access to commercial motor vehicle parking facilities. 

The bill also requires that the Department of Transportation conduct a survey of the availability of parking facilities within each State to evaluate the capability of the State to provide adequate parking and rest facilities for motor carriers engaged in interstate motor carrier service; to assess the volume of motor carrier traffic through the State; and to develop a system of metrics to measure the adequacy of parking facilities in the State. The results of the survey under shall be made available to the public and shall be periodically updated. Congressman Paul Tonko has led the fight for Jason’s Law in the House of Representatives, and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand hope that House leadership follows his lead.