For 25 years, HELP Inc., the non-profit provider of PrePass, has proudly partnered with commercial vehicle law enforcement, motor carriers and professional drivers to promote highway safety. Both law enforcement and trucking understand the importance of highway safety.
In 2017, more than 37,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways. Tens of thousands of others were injured. Family lives were disrupted. The individual potential of those traffic victims was lost to society. Highway safety is not just good business – it is an act of humanity.
There is another human tragedy playing out on our highways… and at our truck stops, airports, bus terminals and other locales. It is the illegal trafficking of humans – women, girls and boys – for forced prostitution and slavery.
According to the Justice Department, in the United States up to 300,000 children annually are at risk of being trafficked. In the case of runaway children, research shows a human trafficker will approach one in three teens within 48 hours of these teens leaving home. Next to illegal drugs, human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the U.S.
Like your commitment to highway safety, there is an act of humanity you can take to combat this attack on human safety. You can join with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to assist law enforcement through the recognition and reporting of suspected human trafficking. Truckers Against Trafficking is a non-profit organization that educates, organizes and trains the trucking industry, carrier personnel and drivers alike, on how to detect and disrupt human trafficking.
HELP Inc. is proud to partner with TAT. “Every day at HELP we see the commitment and energy law enforcement and trucking bring to improving safety on our roads,” said HELP CEO Karen Rasmussen, a member of the TAT board of directors and board secretary. “That same involvement and those same partners work through TAT to save the lives of victims caught in the web of trafficking.”
TAT offers training, online, in print and in person, on recognizing the signs of human trafficking. In fact, mandatory TAT training for entry-level commercial driver’s licenses has now been adopted in eight states. In addition, TAT promotes the Iowa model for how law enforcement can best respond to human trafficking reports. Today, 40 states follow the Iowa model in whole or in part.
In October, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao appointed 15 leaders from across all transportation modes, law enforcement, industry and labor to the U.S. DOT’s new Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. Included are Kendis Paris, Executive Director of TAT and representatives from the trucking industry.
Congress has acted, too. Under the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can grant funds to be used for human trafficking prevention. And the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act permanently prohibits anyone who has used a commercial vehicle to commit a felony involving human trafficking from ever operating a commercial motor vehicle for hire in the future.
Many groups are involved in combatting human trafficking. But it all comes down to a simple act: one trained person, seeing the signs of suspected trafficking, picking up the phone and calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. From there, trained law enforcement will respond.
You can request a TAT wallet card with the hotline phone number and human trafficking red flags by emailing [email protected]. There is also a free training and certification program on the Truckers Against Trafficking website.
You can save a life with just one phone call.