Pennsylvania introduces groundbreaking truck stop law

If passed, the law will allow truck drivers greater access to facilities

Pennsylvania introduces groundbreaking truck stop law
The new truck stop law would give truckies greater access to facilities

In recent years, truck stops across Australia and the world have seen limited access from transport workers due to Covid-19.

But that’s all set to change in Pennsylvania, where proposed legislation gives truckies in the state greater access to bathroom facilities.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker introduced the bill to allow truck drivers better access to bathrooms and facilities in the state’s General Assembly following Washington state’s successful legislation this year.

The introduced bill is a massive issue for not just Pennsylvania but the world over, as truck drivers continue to fight for better facilities in the wake of Covid.

In some American states, truck drivers haven’t been permitted to use restrooms in facilities where they are picking up and dropping off.

It’s also landmark news across the globe, where Australian truck associations have been fighting for increased access to toilet and shower facilities at truck stops since 2020.

In 2020, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chair Geoff Crouch said truck drivers couldn’t be denied access to these basic amenities while working to deliver goods across the country.

"In a time where truck drivers are working harder than ever to deliver essential goods to communities across the country, we’re being told that they cannot access the proper facilities needed to support them in their role," he said.

"I have been given firsthand reports from operators where drivers have arrived at roadhouses only to find the facilities were shut, whilst some customers’ receiving points have distributed notifications saying that toilets are not available to non-staff."

It led to Crouch describing the issue as "not only unfair and unreasonable, but also a humanitarian issue" facing truckies globally.

This movement for increased access escalated even more on March 29 when representative Jason Silvis introduced the Truck Driver Restroom Access Act to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The bill requires retail establishments, shippers, receivers and port terminal to provide truck drivers with access to restrooms while delivering or picking up goods during regular business hours, with the bill being referred to the House Transportation Committee.

Four days before this, a memorandum titled Restroom facilities for truck drivers while picking up or dropping off a shipment to members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives seeking support for the cause.

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Groups like the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) have supported the bill, saying it raises awareness of an issue truckies are forced to confront daily and that contributes to driver shortages across the world.

"Getting more people into the industry is going to require making changes to make the job a little easier for drivers on the road," PMTA CEO Rebecca Ovler says.

If Pennsylvania follows Washington’s new law, it will require terminal operators to provide enough restrooms for heavy vehicle drivers in areas they typically access, including inside gates and truck queuing lots.

Drivers will also be able to leave their vehicles at reasonable times and locations to go into restrooms, with the state’s Department of Health being able to issue violations for noncompliance.

Although it’s a massive movement for truck drivers in America, it may also be a sign of things to come for truck drivers globally who are looking for increased access to facilities following Covid.

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