Legislation would alleviate stress on supply chain, boost highway safety
Washington – Today, the American Trucking Associations applauded the introduction of the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ). The legislation would authorize $755 million in competitive grant funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity across the United States. A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was passed by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in July.
“A chronic, nationwide shortage of commercial truck parking continues to strain our supply chain and jeopardize highway safety for all motorists. This carefully crafted legislation provides needed investments to remedy the problem while incentivizing public-private partnerships to further expand truck parking capacity," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
"We thank Senators Lummis and Kelly for their strong leadership. Congress must ensure our nation’s truck drivers have safe and accessible places to park and rest so they can keep delivering for the American people," Spear said.
The industry says the parking shortage is having a costly, measurable impact on supply chain efficiency, driver health and wellbeing, highway safety, and the environment. When truck drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they're stuck in a no-win situation—forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or to violate federal hours-of-service rules that regulate their daily drive-time to search for safer, legal alternatives.
- A U.S. Department of Transportation report found 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking.
- The same report found the truck parking shortage exists in every state and region and is most acute along major freight corridors.
- 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
- To ensure they can find a safe and legal space, truck drivers often park prior to exhausting available drive time, surrendering an average of 56 minutes of valuable drive time per day, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.
- The time spent looking for available truck parking costs the average driver about $5,500 in direct lost compensation — or a 12% cut in annual pay.
The Senate bill establishes new funding eligibility criteria, including considerations for drivers' personal safety. The lack of safe parking options is often cited as a serious deterrent to more women joining the industry. The bill also would make routine maintenance expenses eligible for funding, as state transportation officials often cite maintenance costs as a deterrent to expanding parking capacity.