Operation Safe Driver week will happen July 11-17 throughout North America. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and its partner state and provincial commercial vehicle agencies have announced that the primary focus will be on speeding—by both commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
Drivers, if you didn’t realize before 2020 the essential role you perform keeping our culture and society moving and operating smoothly, COVID-19 should have proved that to you. But moving and delivering products and goods isn’t the only essential function you can perform.
- Kendis Paris, Executive Director Truckers Against Trafficking
Human trafficking is a crime where a trafficker exploits a child or adult through force, fraud and/or coercion to provide sex or labor to someone, with the trafficker pocketing the money earned. Because traffickers are often moving their victims to the next buyers, truck drivers have proven to be essential front-line workers with this crime – the eyes and ears of our highways – helping law enforcement in the arrest of perpetrators and the recovery of victims.
To date, close to one million members of the trucking industry in the United States have taken the free, short training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), learning how to recognize and report human trafficking when they see it in the course of their regular jobs, and they’ve been registered as TAT Trained. These men and women, who have witnessed the prostitution of women and minors at various places throughout the United States for years but who hadn’t known what it was – forced prostitution and modern-day slavery – have been calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) to report what they were seeing.
Polaris Project, which runs the hotline, reported that calls from truckers rose substantially starting in 2009 when TAT began. The latest numbers available from the NHTH show that as of mid 2020, truckers have made more than 2625 calls with 694 likely cases of trafficking, involving 1278 victims.
January has been designated National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Many organizations have activities planned across the nation to bring awareness to this horrific crime and help people understand the steps they can take to prevent it. Now is a perfect time for you to check out the training TAT offers drivers, so you can join the mobile army of transportation professionals working to end this crime.
Why truckers? Watching the TAT training DVD readily answers that question. With one phone call, a trucker who saw some under-aged girls working a truck stop not only facilitated the recovery of those girls, but also that of seven other minors. Thirty-one offenders were arrested and a 13-state child sex trafficking ring was broken.
Training and working with front-line responders in the transportation industry – whether trucking, bus or truck stop -- in the fight against human trafficking is a strategy that can and does yield big results … and members of the trucking industry are some of the leading front-line responders.
You are essential. You are Everyday Heroes.
If you joined ICSA between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, you should have received an email notifying you to visit our new website and click on the Renew Membership tab at the top of the page.
In the May issue of The Landing Gear, we reported on two motor carrier issues under review by FMCSA’s Medical Review Board (MRB). The first is an alternative vision standard that could make it possible for more drivers to meet vision requirements; the second is a review of the current method of assessing the impact of non-insulin treated diabetes mellitus (Non-ITDM) on a CDL driver’s physical qualification.