Channel 19

Todd Dills

Jason’s Law: Time for action is now

| November 10, 2011

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works unanimously approved a two-year transportation authorization bill (S. 1813, or MAP-21) extending current funding levels and making other enhancements that could lead, said Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, to new jobs. Of chief interest for trucking advocates is the inclusion in this bill of Jason’s Law, intended to fund various initiatives to expand and ensure the safety of truck parking on the National Highway System.

In a hearing prior to the unanimous vote yesterday morning, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, the state where the truck driver for whom Jason’s Law is named lived before being gunned down in the parking lot of an abandoned business in South Carolina, thanked committee leadership for including the provision, noting its potential to increase the safety and availability of parking nationwide.

As I’ve written here in the blog over the past several years, trucking industry support for the provision is widespread, from individual drivers to all of the major industry associations, including even the ATA and the National Association of Truckstop Operators. NATSO issued a press release yesterday supporting the measure and specifically calling out Jason’s Law for passage. “We urge full Senate passage of this important legislation,” NATSO head Lisa Mullings said.

Which begs the question of its potential to progress through various other Senate committees with jurisdiction, including Banking, Commerce and Finance.

Over at AsktheTrucker.com, Allen and Donna Smith have urged readers to call the House transport/infrastructure committee to voice their support for Jason’s Law’s inclusion in the House version of a two-year authorization bill, under way as we speak. The number is (202) 225-9446. But attention to your senators may well be warranted at this point, too.

The bill’s full floor-vote passage, EPW Committee members noted yesterday, will be predicated on finding a funding source for an as-yet unfunded portion of the bill. “Everything is predicated on finding an addition 12 billion dollars,” said James Inhofe, ranking republican from Oklahoma. If the parties can’t agree on how to find that money as the bill moves through other committee markups, the cutting knife is likely to emerge.

If, like so many other drivers, you’re a Jason’s Law supporter, call your senators. And here are numbers for committees I mention above that are sure to be involved in the bill’s markup as it moves to the Senate floor:

Banking: (202) 224-7391
Commerce: Majority: (202) 224-0411, Minority: (202) 224-1251
Finance: (202) 224-4515

Related stories:
‘Jason’s Law’ part of transportation bill
Jason’s Law national call-in day June 23; drivers urge action
Unity diaries: Jason’s Law lives
Stand-up treadmill desk begs question…; cargo theft connection to Jason’s Law?
‘No Parking’ — another day in the trucking headlines
Jason’s Law support continues to grow
‘A door just opened’: Jason’s Law gains steam

  • http://overdriveonline.com/channel19 Todd Dills

    Speaking of Allen and Donna Smith, in just an hour and a half (6 p.m. CST, Thursday Nov. 10) they’re speaking live with Dan Metully on their Truth About Trucking online radio show via http://blogtalkradio.com/truthabouttrucking

    Metully’s the proprietor of a new service called Transport Watch, which allows users to report fraud in the truck transportation industry. Here’s a link to the service, still in its infancy (you might think of it as DAC in reverse, in some senses, for owner-operators, drivers and brokers alike): http://transportwatch.com. And here’s what the Smiths had to say about Metully:

    “Dan Metully of Transport Watch joins us as our special guest to explain how his company is working to fight back against fraud in the transportation industry, as well as promoting your company’s good name and reputation. Transportwatch.com is dedicated to promoting and protecting those companies who operate with honesty and integrity, as well as exposing those who ruin the reputation of others by dealing in identity theft, double brokering, fuel advance schemes and other fraudulent work ethics. Whether you operate a trucking company or as a freight broker, joining the Transport Watch community will take your ability to verify your potential business partners to a new level, and provide a powerful, effective tool to help you protect your company’s reputation and revenue.”

  • Allen Smith

    Thank you Todd for another great article keeping everyone informed and involved in the fight for Jasons Law.

    We’re looking forward to the show at 7PM Eastern with Dan. Another Watchdog of the trucking industry helping to “raise the standards of the trucking industry” Seems like more and more people are being a part of the movement! A real inspiration…thank you.

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