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Truck Drivers Needed for Terror War
  WASHINGTON (AP) -- The trucking industry plans to enlist 3 million of its drivers in the war on terrorism.

AP Online
05/13/2002 06:06
Very Short (0373 words)
JONATHAN D. SALANT, Associated Press Writer
Articles & General info

AP Online
Truck Drivers Needed for Terror War

Story Filed: Monday, May 13, 2002 6:06 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The trucking industry plans to enlist 3 million of its drivers in the war on terrorism.

Industry officials said Monday that employees would be trained to spot suspicious activities that could indicate a potential terrorist attack. They would be given a toll-free number to call to report anything out of the ordinary, with the information forwarded to law enforcement agencies.

The drivers would be asked to monitor bridges, highways, tunnels and ports, and fellow truckers as well, said an announcement by the Trucking Security Working Group, a coalition of trade associations.

``The trucking industry wants to make a contribution to national security and the war on terrorism,'' said Mike Russell, a spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, lead organization in the coalition. ``We think this proposal makes the best use of what we do every day, and that is travel across America, keeping our eyes on what is going on.''

There has been concern that terrorists could use a truck hauling gasoline or other hazardous materials to kill thousands of people, the way hijackers turned four airliners into flying bombs on Sept. 11.

CIA official Robert Walpole told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in March that terrorist groups or rogue nations were less likely to fire a missile at the United States than to use trucks, ships or planes to deliver chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

State transportation officials have stepped up surveillance of bridges and tunnels and have begun training maintenance workers on what to look for.

Last week, the Transportation Department's inspector general said there were insufficient federal and state safeguards to stop would-be terrorists from illegally obtaining commercial truck driver's licenses.

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