Senators Introduce Truck Parking Bill
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Legislation meant to improve parking access for truck drivers nationwide was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Dec. 1.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, sponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), would approve funding to increase parking capacity as well as enhance parking areas. Specifically, the bill would authorize $175 million in fiscal 2023, with funding increasing incrementally through fiscal 2026.
“Wyoming is home to three major interstates that carry thousands of tons of cargo a day. Without safe truck parking, truckers spend an unnecessary amount of time searching for a place to park, putting truckers and Wyoming drivers at greater risk for accidents. This is easily solvable, and I am thankful to Sen. Kelly for joining me in finding a commonsense solution,” Lummis said, in a statement accompanying the bill’s introduction.
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“People in Wyoming are still feeling the impacts of the supply chain crisis, and unreliable truck parking is another contributing factor to that. Fixing the parking problem will help ease this burden on consumers,” she added.
“A lack of accessible and reliable truck parking makes our roads less safe. Our bipartisan legislation will expand freight truck parking to ensure that truck drivers can safely and efficiently move the goods that support our nation’s economy and supply chains,” Kelly said.
The senators hold posts on the highway policymaking committee. The bill’s consideration has yet to be scheduled.
Over the summer, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a similar bill. Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the legislation would provide transportation agencies funding for building or expanding parking areas for commercial vehicles. House Democratic leaders have yet to schedule a floor vote on the measure during the post-election lame duck session.
Freight stakeholders, who backed the House bill, endorsed the Senate version. “This carefully crafted legislation provides needed investments to remedy the problem while incentivizing public-private partnerships to further expand truck parking capacity. We thank Sens. Lummis and Kelly for their strong leadership. Congress must ensure our nation’s truck drivers have safe and accessible places to park and rest so they can keep delivering for the American people,” said Chris Spear, president of American Trucking Associations.
A big THANK YOU to @SenLummis & @SenMarkKelly for their strong leadership on the issue of #truckparking. As Congress looks for ways to strengthen the supply chain, this bill is low-hanging fruit and would boost highway safety for all motorists.
: — American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) December 1, 2022
“OOIDA and the 150,000 small-business truckers we represent applaud the leadership of Sen. Lummis and Sen. Kelly in addressing the truck parking crisis that has been building for decades,” said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
He continued, “Seventy percent of American freight is transported by truck, yet there is only one parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road. When truck drivers don’t have a designated place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere. This isn’t safe for the driver and it’s not safe for others on the road. Sen. Lummis and Sen. Kelly have heard from small business truckers and are taking meaningful steps to increase truck parking capacity.”
Inadequate access to parking ranked third on the American Transportation Research Institute’s “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry” unveiled in 2022.
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