WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN), members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, introduced the most comprehensive piece of legislation in decades to increase truck parking capacity. H.R. 6104, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, would dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to projects that increase truck parking spaces so that truck drivers can safely comply with hours-of-service regulations.
Funding would be awarded on a competitive basis and applicants would be required to submit detailed proposals to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The primary focus would be to construct new truck parking facilities and convert existing weigh stations and rest areas into functional parking spaces for truck drivers.
“After decades of ignoring the problem, Congress is finally getting serious about fixing the severe lack of truck parking across the country. Finding a safe place to park is something most people take for granted, but it’s a daily struggle for hundreds of thousands of truckers,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA President and CEO. “Congressman Bost and Congresswoman Craig have shown they not only understand truckers are experiencing a crisis, but have the mettle to address it through groundbreaking, bipartisan legislation.” While Congress and the Federal Highway Administration have tried to address this issue with the enactment of Jason’s Law and launching of the National Coalition on Truck Parking, OOIDA believes substantive federal investment to expand capacity is long overdue.
“The national truck parking crisis is also a national highway safety crisis. Truckers don’t want to park on the side of the road. It creates a hazard to them and the motoring public. But sometimes there’s literally no other option. This bill has the potential to generate much more truck parking capacity and every member of Congress should support it,” said Spencer. Knowing the lack of parking is affecting every segment of trucking, OOIDA worked closely with Reps. Bost and Craig to develop meaningful legislation that would garner support throughout the industry. In addition to OOIDA, H.R. 6104 also boasts the support of the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the National Motorists Association. “Growing up in a family trucking business, I learned at early age what a rewarding career it could be,” said Rep. Bost.
“However, I also understood that trucking can be a tough, demanding, and even dangerous job. One concern for truck drivers is the lack of enough safe parking spots where they can get the rest they need without risking collisions on the shoulder of the highway or being forced to push their limits to find the next rest stop. This puts the truckers and other motorists as significant risk. That’s why I’m proud to lead this effort to create sufficient rest parking options for long-haul truckers.” “Right now, there is a lack of places for truck drivers to safely stop, forcing them to pull over to the side of the road, or continue driving, both of which are risky,” said Rep. Angie Craig. “That’s why I am proud to be working my colleague, Rep. Mike Bost from Illinois, to increase truck parking spaces, increasing safety for folks transporting goods to and from Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.” David Heller, TCA Vice President of Government Affairs, said “Truck parking consistently ranks as one of the most important issues for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and trucking stakeholders across the country.
On a daily basis, our companies’ drivers face dangerous conditions due to the lack of safe and convenient parking options. TCA applauds Representatives Bost and Craig for their dedication to resolving this critical safety obstacle through this legislation, which will devote significant funding toward the development of suitable parking on our nation’s highways.” David Owen, President, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, said “The availability of truck parking has become so scarce that, in many parts of the country, it’s reached crisis levels. The scope of the problem is such that the solution must be multifaceted. The legislation sponsored by Reps. Bost and Craig represents an important part of the solution — grants dedicated to putting truck parking along federal roads.” The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.