Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA: Senate highway bill ignores truck parking crisis
EPW Committee’s reauthorization proposal includes billions for new programs but nothing for truck parking
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association responded to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s recently unveiled highway bill proposal with disappointment that it fails to address the need for truck parking – a top safety concern for millions of professional truck drivers.
Long-haul truckers must comply with federally mandated hours-of-service regulations that require finding safe places to park and rest. Unfortunately, drivers regularly encounter difficulty accessing safe parking, especially during times of high demand. Even though the federal government has long-established that the truck parking shortage is a serious safety concern, there has not been any substantive action taken to build more spots.
While the legislation, known as the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, significantly increases federal investment in highways, it fails to provide dedicated funding for the expansion of truck parking capacity.
“Washington has again missed an easy and obvious opportunity to address the truck parking crisis,” said Todd Spencer, President & CEO of OOIDA. “While we appreciate the bipartisan commitment to increase overall funding for highways, the lack of dedicated federal funding for truck parking is a glaring omission in this proposal.”
The bill provides billions of dollars for new initiatives, including $2 billion for alternative fueling and charging infrastructure and $250 million for projects to eliminate emissions from trucks at port facilities. The bill also provides $250 million in new spending to eliminate invasive plants from highway right-of-ways.
“Apparently, the EPW Committee considers weeds a bigger priority than truckers in the next highway bill,” Spencer continued.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to see the Committee has authorized billions of dollars for new programs. But they couldn’t set aside a single penny to fix a well-documented and worsening safety concern that affects millions of truckers on a daily basis, WTF?” said Spencer. “Truckers pay more than their fair share into the Highway Trust Fund, yet their top legislative priority continues to be ignored in favor of other highway users, including those who don’t even pay into the system. They can’t even compete with plants for federal transportation funding.”
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