WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday approved legislation designed to expand truck parking infrastructure across the nation.
Dubbed the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, the legislation now advances to the House floor for further debate.
The legislation was introduced in March 2021 by U.S. Reps. Mike Bost, R-Ill., and Angie Craig, D-Minn.
“This is long overdue,” committee chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said. “It’s one solution to try to make the lives of drivers safer and less stressful and perhaps allow for more [driver] retention. This will really help improve the efficiency of trucking.”
DeFazio added that he hopes the bill is well received in the Senate.
“It may be something that goes into the year-end omnibus (spending bill,” DeFazio said. “I hope we can pass it out of the House unanimously when we come back after the August break.”
American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear praised congressional leaders for advancing the legislation.
“The lack of safe and accessible truck parking is an issue that causes serious concern for our industry,” Spear said. “Without it, drivers waste hours looking for secure places to park for an hour or for the night, hurting their ability to rest and adding undo stress to their days. Moving this legislation forward is a tremendous step toward addressing what has been significant challenge to our industry’s ability to safely and efficiently move the nation’s goods.”
The legislation would authorize the creation of a competitive grant program for states to spend $755 million over a four-year period on new truck parking projects including capacity expansion and enhancements like lighting, restrooms and other security features.
Access to truck parking is routinely highlighted in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual list of top issues facing trucking, and ATRI research has found that on average drivers spend nearly an hour — 56 minutes — per day looking for parking, time that reduces their wages, adds undo delays to the supply chain and raises stress on an already taxed workforce.
“The availability of safe and secure truck parking is not just a challenge current drivers, it is a barrier our industry must overcome in attracting new drivers – particularly women. Solving it won’t just help today’s industry, it will go a long way toward helping trucking recruit and attract a more diverse workforce,” Spear said. “This kind of bipartisan solution shows that Congress can still step up and address real challenges faced by American workers and I want to thank bill sponsors, Congressmen Bost and Craig, as well as Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves, for moving this important bill forward and urge the full House and Senate to quickly to make it law.”
The ATA’s newly formed Women in Motion advisory group and ATA’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board along with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance sent letters to members expressing strong support for the provision.
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.