Women in truck driving industry advocate for more parking and restroom access

For Tina Klein, getting behind the wheel of a truck has been a lifelong passion.


“I’ve wanted to be a professional truck driver since I was seven years old,” said Klein.

Klein has been living out that dream for more than two decades. It’s a career she loves.

Rhonda Hartman can relate. She’s been a truck driver for more than 40 years.

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“I learned really right away that this is what I wanted to do,” said Hartman.

Both women told our Washington News Bureau while they love their work, there are safety risks that come with it. That’s why they came to Capitol Hill to push lawmakers for action.

It’s part of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) “Women in Motion” campaign, which is aimed at promoting policies that empower women in the trucking industry.

A big problem to tackle: the lack of truck parking spots.

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“As a woman, I like to park in a well-lit area and know that it’s a safe place for me to be outside of my truck and go use the facilities,” said Klein.

But that’s often not an option. That’s because for every eleven drivers, there is only one available parking space, according to the ATA.

“It is very difficult to do our jobs,” said Hartman.

“For us to be professional and safe drivers, we need to have adequate safe areas for us to park,” said Klein.

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There’s now a proposal in Congress to invest millions into more truck parking. The “Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act” would create a grant program dedicated to truck parking spots around the country.

Another bill dubbed the “Trucker Bathroom Access Act” tackles another critical issue: the limited access to restrooms.

Advocates say nearly 80 percent of drivers look for parking spots based on restroom and shower available. Those factors are even more critical for women truck drivers.

“It’s crazy that we even have to talk about it or pass a law but I don’t think anyone would want to do their job if they had no access a ladies room,” said Hartman.

Both bills to improve trucking safety have support from Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. No word yet though on when they may come for a full vote.

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