Truckers Respond to Human Trafficking Bill
The trucking industry has taken a stand against many serious problems associated with their industry. One of the risks of the freight industry is that it makes it very easy for people to move cargo conspicuously.
In some cases, this has led to issues like drug trafficking. Commercial vehicles have the size to transport large amounts of contraband, with many states busting truckers with record amounts of banned substances hidden in their trailers.
In some cases, the issues of illegal transportation can be much more serious. One of the most dire and dangerous crimes associated with trucking is human trafficking. Countless drivers and organizations have come out to raise awareness about the problem and to help drivers and members of the public alike know what to look for in spotting these crimes.
A recent bill introduced by the Senate aimed to raise the consequences even higher for this offense. S. 1532, also known as the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, would disqualify anyone from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if they used said vehicle in committing a human trafficking felony. Another bill introduced by the same group of senators focuses on eliminating human trafficking. It is known as Bill 1536, or the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act.
The legislation would establish new positions, and establish resources to help drivers and carriers be aware of developments with this problem and how they can solve it.
However, not everyone was on board with the bill. While they have spoken favorably about efforts to raise awareness about the problem of human trafficking in trucking, the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) voiced their opposition to S. 1532, saying that it targeted drivers unfairly.
Truckers note that the problem of human trafficking is not only found in trucking. Since drivers and carriers have worked so hard to raise awareness about the issue, many were baffled that the bill would target the very people who have been trying to help with the problem.
OOIDA is a supporter of Truckers Against Trafficking, a group dedicated to reducing the problem of human trafficking. They’ve also stated the bill is redundant, as existing criminal penalties associated with the act would prevent guilty parties from entering trucking anyway.