Virginia Trucking Association partners with Truckers Against Trafficking

va trucking assocThe Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) announces its partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in the fight against human trafficking.  Thirty-three state trucking associations currently work with TAT to combat this crime.

“State trucking associations are integral to the work of fighting human trafficking,” said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. “They are the ones who serve and represent the trucking industry in their state; they know the members of the trucking industry; and they have great influence with those members. Our ability to reach and interact with the millions of members of this industry is due, in large part, to their assistance.”

As a TAT partner, VTA pledges to:

  • Communicate with all member companies to raise awareness about human trafficking and ask them to train their employees with TAT materials and register their trained employees on the TAT website to measure effectiveness of implementation and determine which companies still need to be reached to join the program.
  • Continually work with member companies to keep this issue at the forefront.
  • Share TAT’s Iowa DOT model with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Department of Transportation. This model, developed by the Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of the Iowa Department of Transportation, includes, among other things, training law enforcement working with trucking with TAT materials; having TAT training/educational materials placed in every weigh station, truck stop and rest area in the state; and handing TAT materials out to every truck driver with whom they come in contact.
  • Work with TAT to assist law enforcement in their investigations within their state.

Dale Bennett, VTA president and CEO, commented, “Truck drivers and others in the transportation industry serve as the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways.  Traffickers often force their victims to work at truck stops, gas stations, rest areas and other establishments near major highways – common locations frequented by our drivers as part of their jobs.  What better advocates to take part in the fight against this atrocious criminal activity than trucking and its professional drivers.”

“Virginia’s trucking industry is sending a clear message that we will not stand by and allow human trafficking to take place on our watch and will use all means at our disposal to stop these sickening crimes,” added Bennett.  “We are pleased to support the efforts of Delegate Hugo, Senator Obenshain and other members of the General Assembly to strengthen Virginia’s sex trafficking laws so we can end this heinous crime.”

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