TO DEMONSTRATE how security conscious some states are becoming, Les Findeisen of the Texas Motor Transport Association said Georgia passed a law to require truck drivers to have Highway Watch training before they can obtain or renew a commercial driver license (CDL).
He made the comment while discussing the Highway Watch program at the Dairy Distribution and Fleet Management Conference March 28-31 in San Antonio, Texas.
Highway Watch is a safety and security program that takes advantage of the skills of America's transportation workers, including truck drivers, to help protect the nation's critical infrastructure and the transportation of goods, services, and people.
Drivers are more likely to recognize a situation that could mean something is amiss, such as a placard that appears inaccurate, Findeisen said.
The program is administered by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) under a cooperative agreement with the Department of Homeland Security. All roadway transportation sector professionals are welcome to join.
Drivers are specially trained to recognize potential safety and security threats and avoid becoming a target of terrorists. The goal of the program is to prevent terrorists from using large vehicles or hazardous cargoes as weapons.
Training for the program can be accessed directly from the ATA Website at highwaywatch.com or in a traditional classroom session. Self-learning modules are available in DVD, audio CD, or cassette tape formats. Findeisen pointed out that the training only requires one hour of the driver's time.
After training is complete, drivers are issued identification numbers in order to report incidents they may come across. Findeisen added that the program also allows for reporting that can include alerts for stolen vehicles, hazardous road conditions, and accidents.