PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

Jason’s Law Would Reduce Driver Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A piece of legislation that would provide for increased funding to enhance the current network of truck stop and resting facilities for tractor-trailer drivers, has been reintroduced in Congress.  Los Angeles truck accident attorneys hope that this time around Congress will pass Jason’s Law, thereby addressing a long-felt need in trucking safety. The last time the bill was introduced in Congress, it died without much progress. 

Jason’s Law was named after Jason Rivenburg, a tractor-trailer driver who died when he was attacked by a robber at an abandoned gas station.  Rivenburg had arrived early for a delivery, and finding no other place to park, had parked his truck at the gas station.  His widow has spearheaded efforts to have Jason’s Law passed. 

In this new version of the bill, the law would provide $20 million in annual funding to enhance the network of rest and parking facilities for truck drivers across the country.  The funding would also be used to construct new rest and parking facilities as well as to increase the capacity of current facilities to accommodate more trucks and larger tractor-trailers.

While federal rules strictly limit the number of hours that a truck driver can drive consecutively, a truck driver needs convenient access to safe rest stops and parking facilities if he is to pull over when tired.  Unfortunately, many states around the country have closed down dozens of truck stops in an effort to contain costs.  The result has been a lack of convenient access to enough numbers of truck stop and rest facilities for tractor-trailer drivers. 

The lack of enough parking facilities means that a trucker may have no other option but to continue to drive while tired.  The other option would be to pull over on the side of highway, or park the truck in an abandoned and potentially dangerous place, like Jason Rivenburg did. 




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