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Truckers Needed for Parking Study in Relation to Jason’s Law

By: Shawn Khalilian

Shawn Khalilian

I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Economics. At Randall-Reilly, I have served as the Web Relations Coordinator for more than 3 years, focusing on both search engine optimization and digital magazine production. In my spare time, I can be found going on adventures and obsessing over law school applications.

Proponents of Jason’s Law are looking for volunteer OTR truck drivers to help compile data regarding their experiences with inadequate truck parking. The information gathered will be shared with the Department of Transportation in relation to Jason’s Law and also presented at the 3rd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention.

Why the need for Jason’s Law?

Jason’s Law was introduced in 2009 after the tragic murder of Jason Rivenburg.  While waiting on his early morning delivery, Jason was unable to find a designated parking area, so he parked his truck in an abandoned lot.

Hope pushes for Jason's Law

Jason and Hope on their wedding day.

Willie Pelzer watched Jason park from a convenience store across the road. He then slipped underneath Jason’s trailer and waited for him to fall asleep. At approximately 10:30 pm, Pelzer shot Jason in the head and robbed him of the $7 that Jason had in his wallet. Pelzer was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Parking in abandoned lots is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence for some OTR truck drivers. As the government closes down more and more rest areas, truck drivers have fewer options when it comes to parking their trucks. In an effort to prevent what happened to Jason from ever happening to another trucker and their family, Jason’s widow, Hope Rivenburg, is on a mission to secure professional drivers with safe and adequate truck parking.

Where does Jason’s Law currently stand?

Hope has made many trips to Washington D.C. to advocate for the nations’ truck drivers. Jason’s Law was born out of her efforts, sponsored by U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN). Hope knocked on the doors of Congress, made phone calls, and did whatever she could to get support for Jason’s Law in Washington D.C. The law, also known as H.R. 1803, provides for more than $6 million in federal funding towards the construction and restoration of safe roadside parking lots. Finally, Jason’s Law was included in the Transportation Bill that passed both the House and the Senate in 2012. Despite its passing, the Department of Transportation has put the bill on hold for now while they take a survey to determine which states are in the most need of federal funding.

Reason for Jason's Law

The crime scene where Jason was murdered.

Instead of just waiting idly by for the DOT to release their results, Hope has decided to take matters into her own hands and get in touch with the people who would be able to provide the best information: truck drivers!  “We are looking for as many drivers as we can get; the more information– the better,” said Hope. Hope also confirmed that the results of this survey will be shared with the DOT, saying “the point person in charge of “Jason’s Law” on the Federal DOT level has contacted me for our final results.”

This is where you come in.

The study will last 2 months, and volunteers will be asked to take notes regarding their experiences while attempting to find parking. Drivers who frequently drive long-haul are in special need, as well as anyone who frequently has trouble finding adequate parking. Volunteers will need to be a part of a once a week conference call and agree to have their name included as part of a presentation at the 3rd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention, as well as in official government correspondence.

For any truckers considering volunteering for this survey, Hope had this to say:

“I would really encourage them to participate. They have a say! I really want them to know from the bottom of my heart that all their support has meant so much and without them this wouldn’t be as far as it is.”

To sign up to volunteer or for more information, contact Hope at hope.rivenburg@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “Truckers Needed for Parking Study in Relation to Jason’s Law

  1. Allen Smith

    We are honored to be a part of this 2 month volunteer driver study with Hope Rivenburg.
    Besides the Driver Study, there will also be an Online Survey for ALL drivers to take part in which will compliment the 2 month focused study of driver volunteers.

    There will be a Link generated from the survey so that drivers can take this survey online, an example of Social Media at it’s best. Websites interested in being a part of this survey will be able to either take the HTML code generated and place the survey on their websites, or use the survey link generated to share on Social Media websites and newsletters.
    The data will then be evaluated and presented at the 2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention which will take place in October at Harrah’s in Kansas City, MO.

    The DOT is extremely interested in this study and survey, and has contacted Hope regarding the data that will be collected by it. She has a scheduled meeting on April 22nd in Albany with the DOT and Congressman Tonko..

    Along with Hope, Andy Warcaba of Andrew J. Warcaba and Associates Inc and also Director of Business of AireDock, as well as Richard Wilson, Regulatory and Compliance Specialist with Trans Products and Services, will be a part of the October presentation at the Trucking Convention.

    Those directly involved with the driver study and survey include: Hope Rivenburg, Desiree Wood, Andy Warcaba, Richard Wilson, Donna Smith, Allen Smith.

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