Safe Truck Parking- A Need That Still Exists

NATA Safe Truck Parking Given events over the last several years where truck drivers have lost their lives, or been seriously injured due to not having safe places to park, initiatives have taken place where an effort has been put forth to gain the attention of our representatives on Capitol Hill to get something done to improve the availability of the number of safe truck parking sites around the country.

Hope Rivenberg, lost her husband Jason Rivenberg (Jasons Law) to a thief, who had taken advantage of the fact the he was parked at an abandoned fuel stop. Hope began a crusade, which needs to be continued in order to increase and improve upon places where truckers can go, to have a safe place to park and get the rest they need.

Hope had started and completed a campaign and  truck parking survey, asking drivers to list the places they knew, and went to, where they had, and still have, a hard time finding adequate and safe parking, and have to this day, no available truck parking. The list of places gave major cities around the country where drivers found that improvements in parking spaces, safety, the number of available parking spots, lighting, and access to the conveniences that drivers need, are much needed, or were lacked in entirely. These places included, not only truck stops, or the lack thereof, but also rest areas that are so old and outdated leaving little, if any, safe parking spaces, and cities that heavily lack in having any truck stops or parking spaces for trucks at all, and weigh stations that do not remain open for access for truckers to have a place to park.

There are places around the country, that have ample room where a truck could park and the driver get the rest he or she needs, yet when they close down for the night, day, or week, or however long, they also put up barricades or close gates thereby denying drivers a place to stop and rest.

Some states have seen new truck stops going in, not many, but some, while truck stop chains that are trying to help improve on this situation, have run into roadblocks in some communities that are balking at having a truck stop being built, because they are afraid of an increase in crime, exhaust fumes, a decrease in their property values and whatever other idea they can think of, to prevent the facilities from being built. What these communities have missed, is that denying these facilities also denies residents jobs, growth and added income for the community, to include added tax revenues and the possibility of other companies that may want to come in and build and provide even more jobs for the community.

I guess that if I had any advice to offer to the truck stop chains that want to build, then request that when scheduling any community meeting on the subject, prior to full approval of being able to build a new site, or increase and improve upon an existing one, that they also find drivers who would be willing to make an appearance at a city council meeting, to further explain the need, and benefits for having these facilities built.

Having available, and safe, truck parking around this country, is going to be an ongoing fight to see happen. But through it all, if drivers, their companies, and families are in such areas where improvements or new facilities are being considered, then I would encourage them to appear at these meetings and voice their opinions and outlooks as to why there is such a need for today’s trucking, and how it could be a plus for the area and it’s people.

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Hal Kiah

Hal is a 20+ year OTR Veteran driver and a 12 year military police veteran. He has also served as a dispatcher and has been a trainer for new Over The Road Heavy Haul drivers. Hal has performed “FHWA” inspections (now called DOT Inspections) . He has been instrumental in the last few years, aiding and mentoring other drivers via social media and personal communications as founder of Truck Driving Career, on Facebook and has a passion and goal of seeing that drivers are respected and recognized for their efforts and sacrifices in the trucking industry, recognizing that trucking is a Lifestyle, and not just a job.