Truck Parking Bill Introduced in Senate
On December 1st, two senators from both sides of the political aisles introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. Should it be passed into law, it would enable $755 million of investment spending into public truck parking spaces.
The phenomenon of truck parking demand exceeding supply is nothing new. Some city governments are taking an aggressive approach to resolve the issue, making it illegal to park trucks in specific areas, but that only sweeps the issue under the rug. Instead, the trucking industry is in desperate need of more spots for trucks to safely stop for a rest period.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which fully supports the Parking Safety Improvement Act, says that legislation supporting the lifeblood of America’s economy is a long time coming.
“OOIDA and the 150,000 small business truckers we represent applaud the leadership of Senator Lummis and Senator Kelly in addressing the truck parking crisis that has been building for decades,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said in a statement. “70% 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. Senator Lummis and Senator Kelly have heard from small business truckers and are taking meaningful steps to increase truck parking capacity.”
The bill is similar to one introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year, but the bills approved by both halls of Congress will need to be the same before it can slide across Joe Biden’s desk.
Still, the fact that both sections of Congress are consistently bringing up the issue is a good sign for the trucking industry and for drivers on the road as a whole. Hopefully the fight will continue until it is resolved and truckers obtain the means to do their jobs more effectively: OOIDA estimates the average trucker spends an hour each day trying to secure parking that could instead be used traveling on the road.
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