Senior Iowa trucking executive told senators improved truck parking accessibility will lead to improved highway safety.
During a transportation safety hearing on Nov. 7, Iowa Motor Truck Association President Brenda Neville called on the Environment and Public Works Committee to endorse legislation meant to expand access for truck parking.
“The priority that we have right now is — as I said in my opening statement — we have 313,000 parking spaces and 3.5 million drivers. So, the shortage is real in every single state. And the option that truck drivers have now is that if they can’t find a space, they are parking on the side of the road. They’re parking on an off-ramp,” Neville said at the EPW hearing. “We need more truck parking across the nation.”
The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, would approve grants for state agencies specific for the expansion of truck parking facilities.
A companion version of the bill was approved by a House panel earlier this year. Neither version has advanced in its respective chamber.
“Arizonans rely on trucks to deliver crucial goods. But finding safe, reliable parking is still a challenge for many truckers,” Kelly said on social media on Nov. 7. “And they need that parking to get the job done. That’s why I’m working to make our roads safer by expanding freight truck parking.”
To improve parking access, ATRI suggested advocating for a specific federal funding program designed to increase capacity at freight-centric locations as well as a reduction of “regulatory burdens limiting the construction and expansion of truck parking facilities.”
ATRI also proposed further researching the link between parking availability and highway safety.
“Truck parking is a great example of an unglamorous issue that has actually proven to be a life safety issue,” Buttigieg said on Oct. 25. “And, ultimately, a supply chain issue because it’s becoming a factor in our ability as a country to recruit and retain [the] kind of truck drivers we need, who sometimes will leave the career because of issues like the inability to find convenient, reliable, predictable access to safe parking.”
“Adding a 12% federal surcharge — which amounts to an additional $25,000 to the cost of new equipment on average — is a significant disincentive,” Neville continued. “This tax is anti-safety and should be abolished.”