“America’s truckers and other transportation workers are in a unique position to contribute to our homeland security,” said C. Suzanne Mencer, executive director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Domestic Preparedness. “As they travel our nation’s highways, they must be alert to a possible terrorist attack and know how to respond appropriately,” she added.
Mencer joined Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, in announcing a $21 million grant that will be used beginning in March 2005 for the ATA’s Highway Watch Program. Under the program, commercial truck and bus drivers, school bus drivers, highway maintenance crews, bridge and tunnel toll collectors and others receive instruction with a goal of preventing attacks by teaching highway professionals to avoid becoming a target for terrorists who would use large vehicles or hazardous cargo as a weapon. A secondary goal is training highway professionals to recognize and report suspicious activity.