Legislation aims to increase truck parking availability

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Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would authorize a one-time expenditure to increase truck parking capacity and improve existing truck parking infrastructure.

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act (S. 5169) would allocate funds to create thousands of safe truck parking spots and improve existing truck parking areas.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules, truckers are legally obligated to comply with Hours of Service Regulations.

According to a study commissioned by the Federal Highway Administration, nearly all truckers, 98 percent, say they regularly experience difficulty finding safe parking and instead park on exit ramps, on the side of an interstate, or in other unsafe areas.

Truckers spend approximately one hour daily looking for safe parking, according to estimates.

U.S. Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the bill. It has the support of the American Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

“Seventy percent of American freight is transported by truck, yet there is only one parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA president, said. “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.”