The bill is called "Jason's Law," in honor of trucker Jason Rivenburg, who was shot to death during a robbery attempt on March 5 while resting at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. It was introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).
"Jason Rivenburg was the victim of a senseless act of violence, and this bill is a way for us to honor his memory by providing greater measure of safety for truckers," said Rep. Tonko. "If we are going to require truck drivers to get a needed amount of rest in the course of their workday to protect themselves and other motorists, than it makes sense that we partner with local governments and private companies to provide enough safe, secure areas to park."
"Jason's Law" would create a six-year pilot program that would make $120 million available in from of grants ($20 million per year) for local governments and private companies to address the shortage of parking for commercial vehicles on the National Highway System. The grants would provide funding for several initiatives:
* Construction of safety rest areas that include parting for commercial motor vehicles
* Constructing commercial motor vehicle parking facilities next to commercial truck stops and travel plazas
* Opening existing facilities for commercial motor vehicle parking, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities
* Promoting the availability of publicly or privately provided commercial motor vehicle parking on the National Highway System
* Constructing turnouts along the National Highway System for commercial motor vehicles
* Making capital improvements to public commercial motor vehicle parking facilities currently closed on a seasonal basis
* Improving the geometric design of interchanges on the National Highway System to improve access to commercial motor vehicle parking facilities
Priority would be given to grant applicants that can demonstrate a severe shortage of commercial motor vehicle parking, who have consulted with affected government agencies, community groups, and private companies, and demonstrate that the projects would have positive effects on highway safety, traffic congestion, or air quality.
You can read more about Rivenburg's death here: "Slain for $7, Truck Driver Mourned"