Monday, September 20, 2010

Jason's Law - OOIDA Call to Action

The following material is correspondence between myself and Angel Burnell from OOIDA regarding a "Call to Action" in regards to Jason's Law:

The original correspondence:

--- On Mon, 9/13/10, OOIDA   wrote:

Subject: OOIDA National Call to Action Alert - Jason's Law
Date: Monday, September 13, 2010, 2:57 PM

Dear Member,

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, you, your family and your friends are urged to pick up the phone and ask your U.S. senators and representative to support two “Jason’s Law” bills – HR2156 and S971. The bills would allocate $120 million over six years for safety improvements to be made at rest areas and truck stops across the country.

Many of you are familiar with the story of Jason Rivenburg, the Schoharie County, NY, truck driver who was murdered 16 months ago at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. He was forced to park there because he arrived too early to deliver his load. His receiver didn’t allow overnight truck parking until his appointment time the next morning.

The Rivenburg family has made several trips to visit lawmakers in DC, urging their support for these critical Jason’s Law bills. While HR2156 has more than 40 co-sponsors, the Senate version – S971 – has one co-sponsor. Both bills have been referred to congressional committees and have yet to receive congressional action.

More lawmakers must get on board to pass the legislation.

Hope Rivenburg said she doesn’t want other trucking families to go through what she has endured. She is urging all truckers and their families to “flood the phones” of their DC lawmakers on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Let’s show lawmakers how important this issue is to all of us!

To contact your two senators and representative, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, provide the operator with your home ZIP code. The operator will connect you with the offices of your lawmakers.

You can also call the OOIDA Membership Department at 800-444-5791 and they will look up the contact information for you. In addition, iPhone and Android offer applications to get federal lawmakers’ contact information. Look for the “Congress App.”

Here was my response:

From: Keith Birmingham []
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 9:37 PM
To: Angel Burnell
Subject: Re: OOIDA National Call to Action Alert - Jason's Law

I cannot support legislation that authorizes the federal government to establish a security presence on a private property truck stop. That must be left up to the truck stop owner. A security force whose job depends on pleasing the federal government is a security force controlled by the federal government. In my mind that is akin to quartering troops in citizens homes.

And, here is OOIDA's response to my answer to their "Call to Action":

Flag this message
RE: OOIDA National Call to Action Alert - Jason's Law
Monday, September 20, 2010 10:38 AM
"Angel Burnell"
Add sender to Contacts
"'Keith Birmingham'"


This legislation is no way authorizes the federal government to establish a security presence on private property or anywhere else  for that matter. It doesn’t say that or even allude to that. 

Here is the text from the actual bill:


To implement a pilot program to establish truck parking facilities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Jason's Law'.


(a) Establishment- In cooperation with appropriate State, regional, and local governments, the Secretary of Transportation shall implement a pilot program to address the shortage of long-term parking for commercial motor vehicles on the National Highway System.

(b) Allocation of Funds-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Transportation shall allocate funds made available to carry out this section among States, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments.

(2) APPLICATIONS- To be eligible for an allocation under this section, a State (as defined in section 101(a) of title 23, United States Code), metropolitan planning organization, or local government shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(3) ELIGIBLE PROJECTS- Funds allocated under this subsection shall be used by the recipient for projects described in an application approved by the Secretary. Such projects shall serve the National Highway System and may include the following:

(A) Constructing safety rest areas (as defined in section 120(c) of title 23, United States Code) that include parking for commercial motor vehicles.

(B) Constructing commercial motor vehicle parking facilities adjacent to commercial truck stops and travel plazas.

(C) Opening existing facilities to commercial motor vehicle parking, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities.

(D) Promoting the availability of publicly or privately provided commercial motor vehicle parking on the National Highway System using intelligent transportation systems and other means.

(E) Constructing turnouts along the National Highway System for commercial motor vehicles.

(F) Making capital improvements to public commercial motor vehicle parking facilities currently closed on a seasonal basis.

(G) Improving the geometric design of interchanges on the National Highway System to improve access to commercial motor vehicle parking facilities.

(4) PRIORITY- In allocating funds made available to carry out this section, the Secretary shall give priority to applicants that--

(A) demonstrate a severe shortage of commercial motor vehicle parking capacity in the corridor to be addressed;

(B) have consulted with affected State and local governments, community groups, private providers of commercial motor vehicle parking, and motorist and trucking organizations; and

(C) demonstrate that their proposed projects are likely to have positive effects on highway safety, traffic congestion, or air quality.

(c) Report to Congress- Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit to Congress a report on the results of the pilot program.

(d) Funding-

(1) IN GENERAL- There is authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) to carry out this section $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

(2) CONTRACT AUTHORITY- Funds authorized under this subsection shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, except that such funds shall not be transferable and shall remain available until expended, and the Federal share of the cost of a project under this section shall be determined in accordance with sections 120(b) and 120(c) of such title.

(e) Treatment of Projects- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, projects funded under this section shall be treated as projects on a Federal-aid system under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.

Let me know if you have any other questions, Keith!


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