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Monday, July 20 2020
The lack of safe parking for trucks remains a problem

Orlando, Fla.—Truck parking is a capacity, geographic, and even political problem in Florida. We all know that truck spaces at rest areas including the 17 at the congested rest stop on eastbound I-4 about two miles north of State Road 434 — fill up fast. For a long time, this has been an issue for truck drivers who are forced to park in places that are either illegal or unsafe. Truck drivers are required to stop to rest after ten hours of driving. Non compliance with the mandatory rest stops not only implies a violation, but it also represents a safety hazard for truck drivers and other drivers on the road.

The inability to find parking hurts drivers and carriers financially. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, truck drivers spend an average of one hour searching for parking every day. The lost time equates to $4,600 in lost wages per year, based on the hour lost to nonproductive trips. It also depresses fleet productivity, taking the driver out of action when he or she could be pushing ahead to the next location. 

The American Trucking Association reports nearly half of all truck drivers have had to park on the shoulders of highways or in other unauthorized locations due to lack of available spaces. The cost of looking for parking amounts to an average of $5,500 in lost wages annually, according to ATA.

As an essential service during a time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the truck parking issue needs to be ranked higher in our legislative priorities.

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act is a bill that seeks highway safety by addressing a long-standing shortage of truck parking nationwide, which increases the risk of driver fatigue. It is expected to establish a source of funding from existing U.S. Department of Transportation funding, to create more parking spots.

The bill was introduced on the 11th anniversary of the death of Jason Rivenburg, a trucker from Fultonham, N.Y. Rivenburg was murdered during a robbery while parked in an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. The incident sparked a nationwide outcry and led to the creation of Jason’s Law, which attempted to address the truck parking crisis in 2012 by directing the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a nationwide parking survey. Though the bill was proposed back in March 2020, it seems to be gaining bipartisan support.

Leaders from the industry commended the legislation. American Trucking Association’s President, Chris Spear, said “opportunities to rest safely are important to truckers, who move more than 70% of the nation’s goods.” The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association worked closely with members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to develop meaningful truck parking legislation that would garner support throughout the industry. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act is requesting $125 million for 2021, $140 million in 2022, $150 million in 2023, $165 million in 2024 and a total of $175 million in 2025.

At Orlando Truck Insurance, we have the staff, the local experience and the customer service platform to help you walk through your insurance coverage options to keep your business well protected. Call one of our truck and commercial vehicles insurance specialists today at (407) 203-7085 to get you started in the right track, we’ll be happy to assist. We are all in this together!

Hector Perez, Producer

Email Hector
Call 407-203-7085

Posted by: AT 03:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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