Pennsylvania bill would require businesses to grant restroom access to truck drivers

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a bill to increase truck driver access to restroom facilities.

Rep. Jason Silvis recently introduced House Bill 2465, also known as the Truck Driver Restroom Access Act.

The bill “would require retail establishments, shippers, receivers, and port terminals to give truck drivers access to their restrooms when delivering or picking up goods during regular business hours. This requirement would be enforced by the Department of Health, which shall issue a written notice upon an initial violation, followed by a $300 fine for subsequent violations.”

“As someone who has a commercial driver’s license (CDL), I understand the skill and long hours required as a CDL driver,” Silvis said. “Even before COVID, access to restrooms was a problem for these drivers who cannot easily park at a gas station due to the size of their vehicles. In addition, many times, they are forced to wait in their trucks for hours for their turn to unload or be reloaded. Access to bathroom facilities is a sanitary issue that needs to be addressed.”

The bill has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.

A similar bill was introduced in Washington earlier this year.

The bill HB 1706 contained a provision requiring retail establishments to provide truck drivers access to restroom facilities or face a possible fine. The bill also contained a provision requiring marine terminal operators to provide drayage truck operators with access to sufficient restroom facilities. The bill was signed into law, but the provision requiring restroom access from retail establishments was considered controversial and was removed.

Gaining access to restroom facilities has been a long-standing problem for truck drivers, but since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, truckers across the country have struggled even more to find available bathrooms as many facilities restricted access in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.