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'Jason's Law' gets new life in Congress

WASHINGTON – A high profile bill to create more truck parking areas and make safety improvements at existing rest stops has been revised and reintroduced in the U.S.

U.S. Reps Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) have tabled a new version of the so-called Jason's Law – named after truck driver Jason Rivenburg, who was murdered during an attempted robbery while parked at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.

The station was the only nearby place Jason could stop to comply with the hours-of-service rules.

After his death his wife Hope Rivenburg (who was pregnant with twins the night her husband died) launched a campaign to address the shortage of safe areas truckers can park.

The first bill died during the last Congressional session in committee.

The new Jason's Law bill, H.R. 1803, would provide $20 million annually for six years for a number of initiatives to improve access to truck parking across the country, ranging from construction of new parking capacity and improvements to existing commercial parking areas, to technology to track open parking spaces and improvements to existing noncommercial parking facilities to accommodate large trucks.

The new version reportedly offers more opportunities for public-private partnerships to work on such projects and maintain existing facilities.

The American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association announced statements indicating their support of the bill.

"The trucking industry faces a litany of issues, and the least we can do is to make sure drivers have a safe place to rest while delivering the nation's goods," said Todd Spencer, executive vice President of OOIDA.

The National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Moving & Storage Association also support the bill. 

 
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