What is Jason’s Law?

Jason’s Law was designed to address a serious problem that affects drivers across the country: the lack of safe rest stations for commercial truck drivers.

A quick summary, as stated on the Jason’s Law Website:

  • Construction of safe truck parking facilities & construction of public parking facilities next to commercial truck stops and travel plazas.
  • Use existing facilities for truck parking, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities.
  • Construct turnouts along the National Highway System & promote the availability of publicly and privately owned parking.
  • Make capital improvements to public truck parking facilities currently closed on a seasonal basis.

The story behind it:

In 2009, Jason Rivenburg, truck driver, was shot and killed in an abandoned gas station 12 miles away from his destination. He was ahead of schedule, and the delivery site did not allow trucks to show up early. Having no rest stations nearby to park at, this abandoned gas station appeared to be his best option. Willie Pelzer III, shot and killed Jason, and took off with $7.00.

Jason Rivenburg had a wife, a 2-year old son, and 13 days after his murder, twins.

His widowed wife took this incident and sought to change the landscape for truck drivers and their safety when looking for a safe place to park and rest. The efforts did not go unheard, and gained massive support from the trucking community and from both major political parties. The bill passed and went into law under the Highway Restoration Bill in 2012

What now?

With the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) required for all long haul truck drivers, the need for a safe place to rest has gotten even more important. From how it sounds in the trucking community, truck stops and rest areas are very full these days with the ELD tracking actual drive time and hours. There is some leeway in getting to a “safe haven,” which is completely legal, as long as the driver parks in the next available place to park and rest.

The Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey is being done again now to evaluate the truck parking infrastructure. The last one was done in 2015, and showed there were parking shortages nationwide, and specifically 37 state DOTs reporting problems with truck parking. The new survey for 2018 is important for truck drivers to complete, so the government understands the current needs for safe places to park, considering that the latest statistics they had are from 3 years ago.

Feel free to share the link to truck drivers, fleet managers and carriers to fill out a 5 to 7 minute survey. Let’s continue to support proper infrastructure for all of our truck drivers, and let them safely transport everything that we enjoy on a daily basis throughout the nation.

2018 Link: https://tti.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eOMh1HWadr3dHyB

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