U.S. DOT seeks truckers for Round Two of truck parking survey

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/21/2018

Courtesy SESA America

(Photo courtesy SESA America)

 

As mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21, the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued its second version of the Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey. Truckers are encouraged to participate in the survey to ensure accurate information is relayed back to the DOT.

In an effort to collect information to combat the truck parking shortage, the U.S. DOT is updating the truck parking survey they released more than three years ago. Professional drivers can go to OOIDAFoundation.org and click the “Surveys” tab to take the survey or click here.

The survey should take approximately five to seven minutes to complete.  No personally identifying information is collected, and if provided, it will not be identified when the Federal Highway Administration analyzes results. All responses will be anonymized and aggregated.

According to Andrew King, research assistant for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Foundation, most of the participants in the first version of the survey were OOIDA members. OOIDA encourages the members to take the updated survey to make sure issues specific to owner-operators are accurately and fairly represented.

“You’re getting information from real-world truckers, and not just company execs and safety directors and things like that,” King told Land Line Now.

Named after Jason Rivenburg, a trucker from Fultonham, N.Y., who was killed while parked at an unsafe location, Jason’s Law was included in MAP-21 to address the truck parking issue. The issue was highlighted when Rivenburg arrived early for his delivery and was turned away by the receiver. He was fatally shot and robbed for $7 after parking at an abandoned gas station about 12 miles from his destination.

Rivenburg’s widow started a grassroots campaign to get legislation passed that addresses the truck parking shortage. Bipartisan bills were introduced in both the House and Senate in 2009, with a final version included in the 2012 surface transportation funding bill MAP-21.

Jason’s Law requires the U.S. DOT to conduct a survey that:
Evaluates the capability of states to provide adequate parking and rest facilities for commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate transportation.
Assesses the volume of commercial motor vehicle traffic in each state.
Develops a system of metrics to measure the adequacy of commercial motor vehicle parking facilities in each state.

The law also requires the survey to be updated “periodically.”

The first survey was completed in 2015, with the results released that August. Results revealed information that the trucking industry already knew: Parking was scarce nationwide. The updated survey is not expected to reveal any new information.

“More than likely it’s going to tell them the exact same thing that the previous survey did,” King said.

Since then, several states and regions have installed technology that allows truck drivers to access real-time information regarding truck parking availability. However, the smartphone apps miss the mark on the underlying issue. King told Land Line Now that spending money on parking information technology does not increase actual capacity.

Jay Grimes, OOIDA director of federal affairs, echoed Andrew’s comments by pointing out that not a whole lot has been done since the first Jason’s Law survey.

“According to our members, the truck driving shortage is only getting worse, and I think that’s obviously a result of the inaction by not only Congress but FMCSA, DOT and FHWA as well,” Grimes told Land Line Now.

Land Line Now news reporter Mary McKenna contributed to this story.

 

 

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