Truckers to meet Dec. 19 on parking in Antelope Valley, CA

| 12/18/2008

Truckers in the Antelope Valley in California are banding together to oppose restrictive truck parking requirements that may prevent them from parking their rigs on their own property.

“It is absolutely vital that drivers get involved in this process and make some noise,” said Joe Rajkovacz, Regulatory Affairs Specialist from the Missouri-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a national truckers group.

Rajkovacz plans to meet with truckers in the Antelope Valley at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19. The truckers will meet at the Littlerock workshop of owner-operator Tom Fidger to address ways they can fight the truck parking ban, which could force some to relocate or pay to garage their trucks elsewhere.

Click here to find out more information about the meeting and to read OOIDA’s Call to Action, which was sent out to the Association’s members in the Antelope Valley earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Rajkovacz, along with some truckers from the Antelope Valley, attended a preliminary meeting with representatives in Michael D. Antonovich’s office. Antonovich is the supervisor of the Los Angeles County’s Fifth District, which encompasses Antelope Valley.

Rajkovacz said although the tone of the meeting was positive and LA County representatives seemed receptive to truckers’ concerns, he added that truckers need to make their voices heard by attending meetings concerning this issue like the one on Friday in Littlerock.

“This meeting is an opportunity for them to have a say in defining their future,” he told Land Line Magazine on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Upset with county enforcement efforts, truckers and supporters there formed an ad hoc organization, known as the Antelope Valley Truckers Organization, about a month ago. Tom Fidger, an owner-operator from Littlerock, is the treasurer of the AVTO. He is hosting the meeting at his workshop.

“Times are rough out here. Truckers just don’t have a pile of cash to hand over to these code enforcement officials for parking our trucks on our own property,” Fidger told Land Line recently.

This is not the first time this year that a California community has fought a restrictive truck parking ban. Truckers in Hesperia, CA, were successful in their effort after more than 400 truckers showed up to voice their opposition at a public meeting on the proposed ban.

Rajkovacz said this is what needs to happen in the Antelope Valley to put the political spotlight on this issue.

“What happened in Hesperia is a perfect example of how drivers fought against the truck parking ban there and were successful,” he said. “Antelope Valley truckers have been an integral part of the local economy for decades. A large turnout by truckers and their supporters will send a strong message to local and county politicians concerning the issue.”

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer