WASHINGTON — Over the past year, federal officials — from President Joe Biden to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg — have promised to do more to help truck drivers.
Now, both the House and Senate are pledging their support as well.
If passed, the act would allocate $755 million over three years to the construction of parking spots. According to the bill, any project funded by the bill cannot include paid parking. All parking under the bill must be publicly accessible and free of charge.
Illinois Republican Rep. Mike Bost reintroduced legislation on Wednesday, March 29, that would provide U.S. Department of Transportation funding on a competitive basis for the construction of new parking spaces for large commercial trucks. Bost was joined in introducing the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Action by Minnesota Democrat Rep. Angie Craig and U.S. Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz, and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.
“I grew up in a family trucking business,” Bost said. “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 that 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.”
American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear said that 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.”
“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,” Spear said. “We thank Representatives Bost and Craig for their leadership on this vital piece of legislation, which will strengthen our supply chain and improve highway safety for all motorists,”
Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said that the majority of Americans don’t realize that 70% of the nation’s freight is transported by truck, yet there is only one parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road.
“When truck drivers don’t have a designated place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere,” Spear said. “This isn’t safe for the driver and it’s not safe for others on the road. Senator Lummis, Senator Kelly, Representative Bost, and Representative Craig have heard from small business truckers across America and are leading the charge in Congress to improve road safety through expanded truck parking.”
Harry Adler, principal of the Institute for Safer Trucking, said his organization fully supports the proposed parking act.
“If we are going to improve safety throughout the trucking industry, it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of commercial truck drivers,” he said. “By providing safe and accessible truck parking facilities, we can help ensure that drivers are well rested.”
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.