Terrorists no longer need a firearm to carry out an attack. Any car or truck will do these days.
In the latest string of terror attacks, vehicles have become the weapon of choice. Accessible and cheap to rent or steal, cars and trucks are ramming into innocent pedestrians in record number.
Following a rash of attacks across Europe, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a warning earlier this month alerting commercial fleet operators and drivers that this tactic may soon make its way to North America. TSA asked all drivers to maintain “a high level of alertness” for potential vehicle theft or hijacking and the importance of reporting any suspicious activities to the proper authorities immediately.
Protect your fleet around the clock
While the use of vehicles as weapons will continue, and possibly be copycatted here the U.S., it is possible to protect drivers, and fleet from such tactics. Fleet safety and security suggestions include:
Lock it. Drivers should keep doors locked at all times, including cargo areas, when driving and when parked.
Report it. Remind drivers to report any suspicious activity around their vehicles immediately – whether they’re on the road, at a truck stop or on a job site. If a driver believes they are being followed or watched, he/she should drive back to the yard, or well-lit area.
Don’t risk it. Do not pick up hitchhikers under any circumstances.
Remove it. Keys should be removed from all vehicles and doors locked when not in use. Similarly, parked vehicles should remain inside fenced or well-lit areas, especially when being left for a period.
Identify It. Managers and dispatchers should be trained – or have relevant technology at their disposal - to identify vehicles significantly out of route, or not communicating in the normal fashion. Where there is no justification for suspicious activity, report it to authorities.
While there is no known target in North America, it is critical that all commercial vehicle operators remain vigilant to prevent this type of tragedy. Contact your HUB transportation risk management specialist to determine what additional measures you can take to promote fleet safety today.