Every day, hundreds of truckers, who are either too early for a delivery or want to rest for a couple of hours, find that there are no safe and secure rest areas. The truck drivers have two choices- they can continue driving tired, or they can pull over at an unsafe area for rest. Both these options are highly risky and dangerous, not just to the truck driver, but also to the other motorists who will be sharing the highway with them.
Providing an expanded and safe truck area network for these truckers is the idea behind a piece of legislation that is currently stuck in a Senate committee. The legislation is called Jason’s Law, and is named after Jason Rivenburg, a New York truck driver who was killed during an armed robbery in an abandoned South Carolina gas station last year.
Rivenburg had just made a milk delivery, and was scheduled to make another one the next day. He pulled over at the gas station and was talking on a cell phone, when a robber walked up to the truck, and shot him in the head. Rivenburg died instantly. His widow Hope is behind Jason’s Law, a piece of legislation that aims to expand the rest area network for truckers around the country. Weeks after Rivenburg died, US Rep. Paul Tonko, D-New York introduced Jason’s Law. Both Hope Rivenburg and Rep. Tonko are urging truckers, their families and truck safety groups to call their local lawmakers to push for Jason’s Law to be passed.
Truck rest areas in the country were never that many to begin with, and these have begun closing down at alarming rates in several states. Fiscal difficulties have contributed to the shutting down of truck rest areas in states like Indiana. It has long been a complaint of truck drivers and New York truck accident lawyers, that there is insufficient access to safe rest areas when truck drivers need to stop driving according to Hours of Service Rules. There’s little point having HOS rules if you can’t provide a truck driver access to facilities where he can park his truck, and rest safely.