Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Momentum Builds for Truck Parking, Road Safety Legislation with Senator Casey’s Support
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) today applauded U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) for his cosponsoring the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would dedicate $755 million to increase safe parking for commercial trucks, significantly increasing roadway safety.
“American truck drivers are part of the backbone of our economy and if they don’t have safe places to park, their lives and livelihoods are at risk,” said Senator Casey. “I’m proud to support the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act because increasing the number of places our truckers can safely rest will keep truckers safe, supply chains moving, and the trucking industry growing.”
“Most folks probably don’t realize that 70% of American freight is transported by truck, yet incredibly there is only 1 parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road,” said Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “When truck drivers don’t have a safe place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere. We thank Senator Casey for listening to Pennsylvania’s small business truckers and supporting legislation to improve road safety.”
The lack of truck parking has been a national problem for decades and has turned into a critical roadway safety issue in Pennsylvania that is only getting worse as parking capacity has not kept pace with the increasing number of trucks on the roadways. The Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee released a plan to address the crisis in December.
Nationally, there is currently only 1 parking spot for every 11 trucks, which has resulted in deadly consequences for road users across America. According to a study commissioned by the Federal Highway Administration, 98% of truck drivers say they regularly experience difficulty finding safe parking, and are forced to park on an exit ramp, on the side of an interstate, or other unsafe areas.
“The top reason female commercial drivers leave the industry is because they are concerned about their personal safety,” said Ellen Voie, Founder of the Women In Trucking Association. “Parking areas need to be safe and available for breaks when needed. The Women In Trucking Association supports this legislation because our mission includes addressing obstacles and a safe place to rest is something our members absolutely need and deserve while moving our nation’s goods.”
“Scarce availability of truck parking is at crisis levels across the nation. Truck parking remains at the top of truckers’ most pressing concerns and among the top issues for fleet owners. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act represents an important part of the solution, and NASTC proudly supports it,” said David Owen, President of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.
“As an organization committed to promoting truck safety, we support for the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act,” said Harry Adler, Principal of the Institute for Safer Trucking. “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. By providing safe and accessible truck parking facilities, we can help ensure that drivers are well rested.”
Truck drivers need the ability to rest in safe places to best operate on America’s roadways. Trucks parked on highway shoulders, exit and entrance ramps, vacant lots, and side streets create an immediate safety hazard for truck drivers and other roadway users. Additionally, the time drivers waste finding safe parking is time not spent getting goods to their destination, slowing the supply chain and raising the costs for consumers. Expanding truck parking capacity will improve road safety and supply chain efficiency.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act would invest $755 million of dollars in the creation of new truck parking spaces. 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.
Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act (S. 1034) in the U.S. Senate last year with U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN) introducing identical legislation (H.R. 2367) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has approved the bill.
Full text of the legislation is available HERE
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: ‘This isn’t safe’: A lack of truck parking on Pennsylvania’s highways alarms drivers
- New York Times: America’s Truckers Face a Chronic Headache: Finding Parking
- NPR: There is 1 parking space for every 11 semi-trucks on the road. Why that’s a problem.
- NPR: Parking for semis is so scarce it leaves truckers in peril and feeling ‘homeless’
- TransportDive: Truck driver in Maryland resorts to parking at funeral home
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