Jason’s Law Moving Forward
May 5th, 2009 was a pretty good day for truck drivers. A story here:
details how HR2156 and S971, aka “Jason’s Law” have been introduced in the House and Senate respectively.
(If you don’t know the story of Jason Rivenburg, you can go to my index page by clicking on the “index” tab above . Look near the bottom of the page for “Threads” and read the posts there.)
These bills are really important for highway safety. For a long time, I’d refuse any freight that went east of I-75, simply because it was so difficult to find a parking space in that part of the country. With the truck freight market pretty much down the tubes, I’ve had to again start accepting freight in that area. Like they say, “If the wheels ain’t turning, you ain’t earning”.
In the years I’ve been running over the road, I’ve seen the parking situation go from bad to worse, to nearly impossible. For example, the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois has roughly 66 truck parking spaces in each direction. This highway handles somewhere around 100,000 trucks a day. Do the math. They also haven’t added any truck parking since 1968. If you get delayed, and run out of hours up there, you’re pretty much screwed. For more details on the Tri-State, you can read my blog post about it here:
The Tri-State is only one example. I picked it because I grew up in the area, and I run through there frequently, so I’m very familiar with the highway and it’s history. Around any city (and even a lot of areas out in the boondocks) you’ll find a similar situation. If you want to see for yourself, just head down to your local truckstop between 10pm and midnight, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Even though these bills have been introduced, there’s still a very long way to go before they’re enacted. The vast majority of legislation dies quietly and largely unnoticed in committee. It’s up to us to prevent that from happening. If our Senators and Representatives don’t hear from enough people, then that will also be the fate of these bills. This cannot be allowed to happen.
This link gives my take on what needs to be done.
I’ve tried as best I can to be reasonable, and stick to things that can be done with limited resources. There are other things that could, and eventually should be done, but at least this is a start.
Politicians don’t seem to much want to hear from anyone outside their district. Naturally (since Murphy seems to be working overtime on me) I don’t live in the districts of any of them. So, if you happen to live in the district of one of the committee members, please send them an email or a letter supporting these bills. If you happen to know any of them, a phone call would be even better. The life you save might be your own.
Here are links to the bills, committees, and contact info for them:
HR 2156 page
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
House contact info
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: Transportation and Infrastructure
Senate contact info
Comments and questions welcome.