By Clarissa Kell-Holland
A little more than a year ago, Hope Rivenburg tragically lost her husband, Jason, a truck driver who was fatally shot while parked in his rig at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.
And since her husband’s death, Hope has become an advocate for more safe truck parking so that what happened to Jason “doesn’t happen to someone else’s family member.”
In mid-March, along with two U.S. lawmakers, Rep. Paul Tonko, D-NY, and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-MN, she hosted a press conference to build lawmakers’ support for HR2156, known as the “Jason’s Law” bill, which is aimed at “alleviating the nation’s shortage of rest area parking for long-haul truckers.”
“This is a commonsense bill. Our truckers are the backbone of our economy, and they make sure the products we need get to market,” Hope said at the press conference.
“There is not enough parking for them now, and many states have proposed closing more rest areas because of budget problems. I want to thank Congressman Tonko and Congressman Paulsen for their support, and I ask all members of Congress to get behind this bill before another life is lost,” she said.
OOIDA continues active support for the bill. Melissa Rohan, associate director of government affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, also spoke at the press conference.
“Every day the nationwide shortage of safe and secure truck parking threatens the well-being of Americans who make their living behind the wheel of commercial motor vehicles,” Rohan said.
If enacted, Jason’s Law would create “a pilot program that would invest $120 million over six years to improve parking … on the National Highway System.”
Bipartisan support continues to build for Tonko’s bill. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, has introduced a companion bill, S971, in the U.S. Senate. LL