Hope Rivenburg urges truckers to complete FHWA truck parking survey

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 4/22/2014

The Federal Highway Administration is urging professional truck drivers to complete an online survey aimed at identifying critical truck parking shortages drivers face while out on the road.

On Tuesday, April 22, the FHWA announced it was extending its survey deadline to May 2. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is urging its members to take the survey as well to help federal officials identify crucial areas where safe and adequate truck parking is needed.

The Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey is named for Jason Rivenburg, a 35-year-old truck driver from Fultonham, N.Y., who was robbed, shot and killed as he rested in his truck at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. He had arrived too early with his load at a Food Lion distribution center in Elloree, S.C., and was turned away. He never returned with his load of milk.

His widow, Hope Rivenburg, told Land Line, that she met with Tom Kearney, freight operations program manager at FHWA on Monday, April 21, to discuss details regarding the survey. It was mandated by Congress as part of the current highway law – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.

“It was a good meeting, a chance for him to catch me up to speed on what was going on with the survey,” Hope Rivenburg said. “I want to urge all truckers to please take a few minutes out of their day to take this survey.”

Rivenburg started a grass roots movement after her husband was killed in 2009, urging lawmakers to pass legislation for safe truck parking. Her efforts were rewarded when Jason’s Law, which mandated a study of truck parking by FHWA, was included in MAP-21 in 2012.

She released the results of her own truck parking survey in December 2013. Nearly 4,000 truck driver participated in the survey.

She told Land Line that she has received calls and emails from truck drivers confused about whether her survey is the same one as the FHWA is currently conducting. OOIDA officials said that even if drivers previously participated in Rivenburg’s survey that it would be beneficial to complete Federal Highway’s current survey.

March 5 marked the five-year anniversary of Jason’s death. His killer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in December of 2009.

“I miss Jason every day. He will never be forgotten, and he will always be missed,” she said. “This is why this survey is so important, so that something like this doesn’t happen to another family. This happens many times to truckers and some of those families never find the killer. At least we have closure; many families don’t.”

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