A bill aimed at creating more safe, free parking for truckers has been introduced in the Senate as a companion to the House version introduced earlier this year.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was introduced in the Senate on December 1st by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ). The legislation would allow for $755 in competitive grant funding to expand free truck parking across the country. A small portion of those grants would be allowed to fund safety improvements for existing facilities.
While the newly introduced Senate version and slightly older House version of the Bill are similar, the two have some key differences. In the Senate version of the bill, no more than 15% of the funds can be used for the upkeep and maintenance of existing rest areas, grant money is allowed to be used to create truck parking on private truck stops or travel plazas, and fees can be implemented for the use of auxiliary power units, electric hook-ups, or heating and air conditioning.
“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,” said Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “70% of American freight is transported by truck, yet there is only 1 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.”
“Truck parking is a top priority for our membership… We are satisfied that the bill is laser focused in addressing that issue,” a representative of the OOIDA said to CDLLife in a statement.
While the Bill will need to be reintroduced to the new Congress in January, OOIDA says that they are “confident [that the] House and Senate bills will both be introduced” as they are.