We only need to watch the news to know that we are currently living in an era when terrorist desire to disrupt our way of life by killing and maiming innocent citizens. Recently, large commercial vehicles have been used as weapons to achieve those goals. Please take a few moments to read an important message from David Cooper, Industry Engagement Manager – Highway Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security – TSA:
“TSA will be working with industry to develop security action items to mitigate the potential of commercial vehicles to be used as weapons against large gatherings of people. In the meantime, please use the attached Intelligence Note and below actions as consideration for your security planning needs.
TSA recommends that fleet owners and operators of trucks and buses become proactive in an effort to prevent, protect, and mitigate the use of commercial vehicles in terrorist attacks within the homeland.
For Truck and Motorcoach Operators:
- Instruct all drivers to go online to www.tsa.gov/firstobserver to view the security awareness training module and to maintain a high level of alertness when operating or parking their vehicles.
- Instruct drivers and maintenance staff to keep vehicles locked while in operation and while parked.
- Instruct drivers to be suspicious of any unknown person who approaches them or attempts to enter the vehicle while in route.
- To the extent possible, avoid resting in vehicles parked in secluded areas and be wary of persons who may be observed outside your vehicle when exiting.
- Reinforce the importance of strong vehicle security during any period when your operation or your cargo destinations are near outdoor community events, festivals, concerts or other activities which place crowds near roads, streets or venues accessible by vehicles.
- Instruct all staff to report any suspicious activities, behavior or approaches by unauthorized persons to proper authorities and company leadership.
- Ensure that all tracking, telematics, and communication functions are operational on all vehicles.
- Consider offering your vehicle to planners and law enforcement as a barrier to streets, alleys, or parking facilities which lead directly to festival areas.
- Explain to your passengers the need to secure your vehicle during festival or event activity.
- Reinforce to staff and passengers the importance of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
Would-be terrorists can be stopped by some of the least-intrusive and lowest-cost means available: meaningful security awareness. Drivers and staff who simply remain alert to potential threats are the most effective deterrent to terrorism by commercial vehicle. If a driver is faced with a suspicious and potentially dangerous situation, do not stop or exit the vehicle.
The TSA First Observer Plus™ program, available online at www.tsa.gov/firstobserver, teaches drivers to be aware of those around him or her, to take simple precautions like locking the vehicle while unattended and while driving and parking in well-lighted areas. The program also teaches them what to look for and how to report signs of an impending attack or surveillance which might be part of a preparation for an assault.”