ARLINGTON, Va., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Trucking Associations (ATA) greatly appreciates the latest efforts by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Secretary Ray LaHood to provide professional truck drivers with safe places to stop and rest along the National Highway System (NHS).
The $6 million recently awarded by Sec. LaHood will be used to add parking capacity and to continue to develop innovative ways to provide updated information on space availability to professional truck drivers along I-15 in Utah, I-10 in Mississippi, I-5 in Oregon, I-40 in Tennessee and I-81 in Pennsylvania. The $6 million awarded is part of the Truck Parking Facilities pilot program, enacted under SAFETEA-LU to provide funding to address the shortage of long-term parking for commercial vehicles on the highway system.
"Professional truck drivers need to have access to safe, legal parking so they can get the rest they need to deliver the goods we rely on," ATA Senior Vice President Dave Osiecki said. "Without access to adequate parking at safety rest areas, drivers must often settle on less safe parking locations like a shoulder or a ramp. They should not be put in these dangerous situations."
The ATA strongly encourages Congress to pass "Jason's Law" legislation, introduced by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), to further address shortages in safe parking for commercial motor vehicles on the NHS. Named after slain New York truck driver Jason Rivenburg, the legislation would allow the Secretary of Transportation, in cooperation with appropriate State, regional, and local governments, to allocate funds for new safety rest areas and the expansion and improvement of existing safety rest areas that serve the highway system.
At the urging of the ATA and the Virginia Trucking Association, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell re-opened earlier this year the 19 safety rest areas closed by the Commonwealth's previous administration as a cost-cutting strategy. Several other states are looking at closing safety rest areas to lower transportation costs. The ATA continues to work with the states to educate them on the important safety benefits safety rest areas provide for all motorists.
For more information about DOT's Truck Parking Facilities program, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/truckpark.htm
The American Trucking Associations (www.truckline.com) is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States. Follow ATA on Twitter @TruckingMatters (www.twitter.com/truckingmatters), or become a fan on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/y4qwp6h).
SOURCE American Trucking Associations