AskTheTrucker Supports September 15th Call-In to Address Truck Driver Fatigue, Parking Shortages, and Reduction of Highway Fatalities

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On September 15, 2010, Allen and Donna Smith of AskTheTrucker.com, along with thousands of people nationwide, are going to voice their convictions to Washington DC, strongly urging elected officials and lawmakers to support bill HR 2156. The bill, commonly referred to as Jason’s Law, would ensure the existence and expansion of available truck parking, relieving truckers from the documented fatal effects of fatigued driving, and therefore securing safer conditions for highway motorists sharing the roads with the more than 4 million professional truck drivers.

On April 28th, 2009 Congressman Paul Tonko of New York presented HR 2156 to the house, seeking remedy for the nation’s severe truck parking shortage which has directly affected truck driver safety, trucker fatigue, accident fatality, and national highway safety. AskTheTrucker.com has been reporting the updates and progress of this most vital bill, including live radio appearances of Congressman Tonko on Truth About Trucking "Live."

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/truthabouttrucking/2010/02/19/congressman-paul-tonko-on-jasons-law

For many years, Government studies have indicated that there is a significant shortage of available truck parking facilities. Studies have also indicated, that by not having enough truck parking, drivers are at greater risk of experiencing what’s commonly called within the trucking industry as “truck driver fatigue”, which according to the National Transportation Safety Board “may be a contributing factor in as many as 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents." The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA) has stated that truck driver fatigue has been the main cause of thirteen percent of all fatal crashes involving a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle.

To make matters worse, the current economic recession has forced many states to close additional rest areas. When drivers cannot find available parking to rest, many times they continue to drive in this dangerously fatigued state, reducing their alertness or ability to think clearly, while they continue to search for available refuge. Other times they are forced to hazardously park on exit and entrance ramps, or to find solace in isolated areas, as was the case of Jason Rivenburg, who was shot and killed as he rested in an abandoned gas station on March 5, 2009.

Truckers, their families and friends are urging people to call their elected officials on September 15th in order to support HR 2156 and S971, “Jason’s Law.”

http://www.askthetrucker.com/truckers-unite-for-2nd-national-call-in-day-for-jasons-law/

The law would allocate funds, already existing from collected fuel tax, towards a Pilot Program which would create and maintain safe truck parking for professional truck drivers. The plan is designed to spend a modest 20 million dollars a year for 6 years.

As reported this past June in a post on AskTheTrucker:

http://www.askthetrucker.com/lack-of-truck-parking-causing-highway-safety-risk-for-general-public/

Jason’s Law has been dormant in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee/ Highways and Transit sub-committee. It is imperative that this vital bill be passed into law and not allowed to, once again, be placed within a larger bill where little or nothing is done to either address or resolve the issue of severe truck parking shortages.

On Wednesday, September 15th, please call your US representatives and Senators:

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

. . . and ask to speak with the transportation staffer. Explain that you are concerned with the direct correlation between truck driver fatigue as it relates to the severe truck parking shortage and our national highway safety, specifically, truck related fatalities.

Particular attention will be to Senator Charles Schumer, who first presented S971 to the Senate. His phone number is: (202) 224-6542

On September 6th 2010, President Obama called for a 50 billion dollar infrastructure plan to rebuild the roads, railways, and airport runways of this country. Should this bill be passed, we hope that additional funds would be allocated towards the prevention of highway fatalities by assuring that there be an adequate number of truck parking facilities for professional drivers to obtain their mandated and legally required rest.

AskTheTrucker.com is one of many websites within Truth About Trucking, LLC and is dedicated to the betterment of the professional truck driver and strives to "Raise the Standards of the Trucking Industry"

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Allen Smith

Donna Smith
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