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Joins Congressman Tonko, Congressman Paulsen at Washington, D.C. News Conference to Rally Support
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-21) and Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) were joined at a Washington, D.C. news conference Tuesday by Hope Rivenburg of Schoharie, New York, to build support for Jason’s Law, the proposed legislation named after her husband that is targeted at alleviating the nation’s shortage of rest area parking for long-haul truckers. Jason Rivenburg was senselessly murdered during a robbery on March 5th, 2009 while parked at an abandoned South Carolina gas station that many truckers used as a rest stop.

Jason’s murder called attention to the nationwide shortage of safe, accessible rest areas for long-haul truckers, who are mandated by federal law to take a ten-hour rest break after every eleven hours of driving. As a result, Congressman Tonko introduced Jason’s Law, H.R. 2156, which creates a competitive grant program that would help reduce the shortage of rest area parking and allow public and private owners of existing rest areas to expand and improve security.  Congressman Paulsen has signed on as the lead Republican sponsor of the bill.  Just this month, Hope Rivenburg started personally lobbying Members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

“We cannot allow Jason’s murder to go unanswered,” said Congressman Tonko. “We cannot continue to ask our long haul truckers to get a proper amount of rest during their workday under the guise of safety, without providing them a safe, accessible place to pull off the road. Today I stand with one of the bill’s cosponsors, Erik Paulsen, to ask that Congress get behind this bill in a bipartisan manner and make it law before another senseless and preventable tragedy occurs.”

“Our economy hinges greatly on the ability to move goods in a safe, efficient and timely matter. A critical piece of that is ensuring the safety of the men and women who move these goods every day,” Congressman Paulsen said.  “Jason’s story is a tragic one.  However, by enacting the common sense provisions of ‘Jason’s Law’, we can take major steps toward preventing similar tragedies in the future. I’m proud to join both Hope and Congressman Tonko in encouraging our colleagues to move forward on this important bill.” 

Hope Rivenburg said: “This is a common sense bill. Our truckers are the backbone of our economy, and they make sure the products we need get to market. But they also have to follow federal rules, which require a ten-hour rest break. There is not enough parking for them now, and many states have proposed closing more rest areas because of budget problems. I want to thank Congressman Tonko and Congressman Paulsen for their support, and ask all Members of Congress to get behind this bill before another life is lost.”

Jason’s Law would create a pilot program that would invest $120 million over six years to improve parking for commercial vehicles on the National Highway System. The program would provide funding for new rest areas and new turnouts for parking, new parking areas for trucks next to truck stops and travel plazas, and open weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities for truck parking

Jason’s Law has received support from the following groups:
Teamsters, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), American Trucking Associations (ATA), American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Truck Safety Coalition, Truckers and Citizens United, New York State Motor Truck Association, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

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