Jason’s Law: Part of the Highway Bill
by Apex Capital | October 17, 2012
About Jason’s Law
A provision added to the highway bill aims to keep truckers safe while searching for a place to park during a rest stop. Dubbed “Jason’s Law,” the provision was prompted by the death of driver Jason Rivenburg.
Who Was Jason Rivenburg?
Jason Rivenburg was a truck driver who decided to park his rig in the lot of an abandoned gas station because there were no other options in the area. On March 4, 2009, Jason was only 12 miles from his final destination, but he was running too far ahead of schedule to continue.
The lack of a safe place to park his truck while waiting to continue on his journey cost Jason Rivenburg his life. He was shot and killed during a robbery in which the killer netted only $7.00 from his victim.
The murder of Jason Rivenburg left his 2-year-old son without a father and his pregnant wife alone when she gave birth to the couple’s twins just two weeks after his death.
How Jason’s Law Protects Truck Drivers
Jason Rivenburg’s murder has brought attention to crucial safety concerns related to the lack of safe parking spots for truck drivers who are forced to take rest stops. Jason’s Law allows for $6.25 million in federal funds to be dedicated to providing safe truck parking locations along highways that are frequently traveled by truck drivers.
Safe parking options would be most beneficial to truck drivers who travel through states that have closed their rest stops due to budget constraints. Federal funds could potentially be funneled to states in order to get these rest stops in operational order again.
Even when drivers are able to find a dedicated safe place to park, spots are often filled. The money earmarked for safe parking construction and expansion would allow for parking lots with limited capacity to expand to accommodate more trucks at night.
Action prompted by Jason’s Law will start with a thorough analysis of the available safe parking locations in each state. Available parking will be compared to how many lots each state would need to safely accommodate drivers who routinely require a rest stop while traveling through the state.
The unfortunate death of husband and father Jason Rivenburg was a tragedy, but Jason’s Law has the potential to ensure that his death was not in vain. Jason’s Law could help protect the millions of men and women who drive for a living.