WASHINGTON — The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB) has sent a letter to all 50 governors and state departments of transportation urging them to apply for federal funds to expand truck parking capacity.
A nationwide shortage of commercial truck parking — widely documented in government and academic studies — has created a growing highway safety issue, as truck drivers are often forced to park in illegal or unsafe locations when authorized parking is unavailable, according to an ATA news release.
“Law enforcement organizations across the country, from local police departments to statewide patrols, are impacted by this issue and have seen firsthand how the truck parking shortage jeopardizes road safety for all motorists,” said Fred Fakkema, LEAB chairman and vice president of safety & compliance for Zonar Systems, who previously served 25 years in the Washington State Patrol. “The U.S. Department of Transportation is offering federal funds to help expand truck parking capacity, and we encourage states to capitalize on these resources now while they are available.”
On Sept. 29, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a letter to ATA President and CEO Chris Spear pledging the administration’s commitment on the issue and detailing various competitive grant programs under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that can fund truck parking projects.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) also issued official guidance on funding eligibility requirements for states as they plan new truck parking projects. In recent weeks, Florida and Tennessee were awarded INFRA grants by USDOT totaling $37 million to expand truck parking capacity.
“Truckers need accessible parking options to move the economy’s freight safely and efficiently. This issue is critically important — not just to drivers, but to patrolmen, troopers, and officers as well. It is a top priority for our Law Enforcement Advisory Board, and we’ll keep working it until the parking shortage is meaningfully addressed,” said Derek Barrs, LEAB industry outreach advisor and senior manager at the HNTB Corporation.
Barrs previously served as chief of the Florida Highway Patrol’s Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.
ATA’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board is a working group comprised of trucking industry professionals who have previous law enforcement experience, as well as current and retired law enforcement officers with experience on trucking issues.
The 37 current members of LEAB combine for more than 900 years of law enforcement experience.
Copies of the letters are available by clicking here.
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.
Trucking law enforcement group urges states to address truck parking shortageComment
All these grants to states are enabling them to do is build larger rest areas. Rest areas do not have the other facilities that are REQUIRED by truckers such as restaurants, showers, repair shops, or even driver TV rooms and lounge facilities. It’s a waste of good taxpayer money and does little to alleviate the real problems of not having adequate facilities which draw truckers to the career field. While not a complete failure, I still give the entire process a D-, one step up from a complete failure.