As states continue closing rest areas because of budget shortfalls, Congress is reconsidering Jason’s Law to increase access to truck parking.
Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 1803 on May 11, co-sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.). Tonko had introduced similar legislation during the previous Congressional session.
Jason’s Law would provide $20 million annually over six years for truck parking upgrades on the National Highway System to local governments and private entities.
The American Trucking Associations said the bill would fund initiatives that could include building new parking, improvements to existing commercial and non-commercial parking, and technology to track open parking spaces.
The legislation is named for New York trucker Jason Rivenburg, murdered during a 2009 robbery attempt as he sat in his truck at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.
Tonko and Jason’s widow, Hope Rivenburg, were joined at a May 11 news conference by representatives of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, ATA, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, American Moving & Storage Association and NATSO, the truck stop trade association.
Mary Phillips, ATA senior legislative affairs vice president, said truckers should not have to park on Interstate shoulders, ramps and other locations, placing themselves and other drivers at risk.
— Staff reports
Spot market freight falls during April
TransCore’s North American Freight Index measuring spot market truckload freight volume declined 14 percent in April from March, but was 12 percent higher than in April 2010.
Freight volumes in the South and Midwest were hampered by extreme weather conditions during April.
TransCore said the month-to-month decline from March to April was the first time in 15 years when spot market freight volume dropped during that period. From March to April, dry van capacity increased 6.7 percent and freight availability declined 9.5 percent.
Refrigerated capacity increased 3.4 percent, while freight availability slipped 5.1 percent. Flatbed capacity and freight volumes dipped, 2.6 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
TransCore’s monthly North American Freight Index measures trucking freight movements on the spot market.
— Staff reports
Survey: Cell phone link to crashes
A survey shows that 32 percent of companies have knowledge or evidence of on-the-job crashes that resulted from distractions caused by employees using cell phones while driving, software maker ZoomSafer says.