This week, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), ATA Safety Management Council (SMC), and the ATA Transportation Security Council (TSC) provided the following recommendations for professional drivers and motor carriers operating in areas of protest and social unrest.
While it is impossible to plan for each situation, there are key safety and security measures professional drivers can take when operating in areas with potential unrest. Below is a list of recommended practices to help professional drivers remain safe and secure:
- Immediately report any emergency situation to local law enforcement by calling 911.
- Avoid areas of unrest. Exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
- Plan for road closures. If your route brings you through an area that has seen protests, check the local news, with your dispatcher, or with the safety department to make sure interstates and roads along the route are open and the area you are delivering to is safe.
- Contact the delivery location for current and timely situations and conditions. Traffic conditions are constantly changing.
- Remain in regular communication with your dispatcher to provide travel updates.
- Plan ahead to try to make deliveries in areas of unrest during the day. If traveling at night, park in well-lit, safe areas.
- Assess every situation prior to exiting the cab of your truck. If danger or exposure to large gatherings in the form of protest exist, abort delivery operations.
- Conduct thorough pre-trip inspections before departing domiciled locations; eliminate maintenance breakdowns from the equation.
- Always keep doors locked and windows closed. Remove keys from unattended vehicles and ensure trailer locking and latching mechanisms are functioning properly.
- If you encounter a gathering, stop your vehicle and do not drive through. Avoid any interaction and do not provoke the group.
- If available, utilize your in-cab camera in an unsafe situation to document your surroundings.
- Maintain continuous contact with your dispatcher and safety department for specific operating procedures and follow company policy.