Jason’s Law was founded after a truck driver, Jason Rivenburg, was shot and killed in his truck after being mugged. Rivenburg was parked at an abandoned gas station to rest while on the job. The lack of safe and well-lit rest stops for truck drivers is well-known in the industry. Drivers and truck company owners around the nation empathized with Jason’s family, as they know all too well the decision to stop in an area, regardless of safety, just for the sake of rest. Jason’s Law was started in hopes of creating programs and funding for improved safety for truck drivers. Jason’s Law hopes to pave the way to accessible parking areas for drivers. This way, they can safely park and rest in areas that are well-lit and less susceptible to crime.
Midland, TX, and other surrounding areas are currently under pressure from trucking companies and associations, especially those in support of Jason’s Law, because they are making it illegal for commercial trucks to park on private property. For example, as we know, shopping centers are closed at night, virtually leaving their parking lots empty. With plenty of space for trucks, and often in traffic-heavy and well-lit areas, it has been deemed the perfect overnight rest stop for truck drivers all around the country. Now, they are threatened to be ticketed for parking in private areas such as retail lots. The new ordinance, put in place just last month, allows property owners to prohibit truck parking with the support of local law enforcement. Truck drivers who violate this ordinance may be subject to a fine of up to $500. While there’s nothing wrong with putting boundaries on where big-rig trucks may be allowed to park, putting such strict restrictions on their options puts everyone on the road at a risk that property owners are not considering.
Fatigued truck drivers cause an estimated 100,000 accidents each year. There are a few reasons why there are so many fatigued drivers on the road. For one, up until just this year truck drivers were only compensated for hours on the road. So in other words, they were not being paid to get proper rest for the duration of their time driving and delivering goods. New laws are beginning to require companies to pay their workers for their full-time on job – rest, meals, and driving included. Now with that one step forward, we’re going another step back by restricting trucks on where they may stop. We understand that trucks shouldn’t be allowed to take up a whole lot, possibly covering up any signage or marketing that the store has in place or taking up customer parking spaces. However, it is for the benefit of the entire community to have safe, well-rested drivers on the road rather than fatigued, delirious drivers delivering goods.
To us, there needs to be a give and a take. We want nothing more than to see the annual truck-related accident statistics go down, and especially to see fewer fatalities occur. If you have questions about truck accidents or are dealing with a case right now, do not hesitate to give us a call today.