It happened back in March of 2009. Truck driver Jason Rivenburg was transporting milk to a customer in South Carolina. With only 12 miles left to go, Jason realized that he was several hours early for his morning delivery and needed to by some time. Deciding to take a short rest, he chose to pull over. The only available area, however, was an abandoned gas station in which Jason parked.
That night, as he was sleeping, he became the victim of a robbery. Jason, who had $7 in his wallet, was shot twice and killed.
Jason, who had a family at home including a wife, 2-year-old son, and twins on the way, would soon be remembered through Jason’s Law.
More than two years later, Jason’s Law, which sets to provide more truck parking accessibility and improvements throughout the country to prevent events such as what happened to Jason from happening again, is being reintroduced.
U.S. Reps Paul Tonko and Erik Paulsen announced the decision to bring back the bill at a conference in Washington, DC yesterday, where Jason’s wife was in attendance (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73737).
The bill, which is backed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), would establish funding of $20 million a year for six years to create new parking capacity, improve existing ones, as well as “technology to track open parking spaces” (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ata-again-calls-on-congress-to-protect-americas-truck-drivers-121634658.html).
So why is Jason’s Law being introduced now? One reason has to do with the revised hours of service (HOS) proposal.
Drivers need to comply with HOS rules, which may be more difficult to do if a reduction in hours is granted. This difficulty further increases as the driver is traveling several additional miles just to find an available rest area. Not wanting to exceed their hours, drivers may pull into unsafe areas to rest.
Another reason for the bill’s reintroduction is due to the current debate of whether to close those parking areas now available in order to help reduce state budgets which have fallen short, prnewswire.com explains.
Finally, with current capacity issues and an estimated 2 million additional trucks being added in the next nine years to meet demand, more rest areas are needed to ensure the safety of drivers.
Road Scholar Transport is an advocate of safety, not only for our drivers, but customers as well. That’s why we use Nextel direct connect and Qualcomm to connect with drivers along with security technology such as panic buttons and satellite tracking to ensure driver safety and the safety of your freight.
Learn more about Road Scholar’s relationship with the Cargo Security Alliance and how we are working together to keep your cargo secure from theft by visiting the new RS University page at www.roadscholar.com.
What’s your input on Jason’s Law?