A U.S. House of Representatives committee has advanced a bill that would provide funding for the creation of more truck parking spaces and safety upgrades for existing parking facilities.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved an amended version of H.R.2187, also known as the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act.
The bill would authorize $755 million for the U.S. Department of Transportation to spend on constructing truck parking through the distribution of competitive grants. The funds could be spent on expanding available truck parking or on upgrades to facilities that would enhance safety like better lighting and facility upgrades.
Now that the bill is out of committee, it must pass through the full House and Senate before becoming law. Lawmakers say that the legislation could be included in an omnibus spending bill.
A version of H.R.2187 was introduced in 2020 and then again last spring by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL).
“I grew up in a family trucking business and spent years driving over the road,” said Rep. Bost after introducing the bill in March 2021. “Since then, we’ve seen the need for more trucks and drivers increase significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when trucking helped to keep our economy going. However, the number of truck parking spaces hasn’t kept pace. That means that drivers are forced to park in unsafe locations, which puts both them and other motorists at risk. Creating sufficient parking options for long-haul truckers will not only help keep truckers safe during their rest breaks but will also mean safer roads for everyone.”
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) praised the committee for advancing the bill.
“The lack of safe and accessible truck parking is an issue that causes serious concern for our industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Without it, drivers waste hours looking for secure places to park for an hour or for the night, hurting their ability to rest and adding undo stress to their days. Moving this legislation forward is a tremendous step toward addressing what has been significant challenge to our industry’s ability to safely and efficiently move the nation’s goods.”