Unfortunately, deadly terrorist acts continue to have an ongoing presence on the evening news in recent months. It is a fact of life today that motorcoaches, vans and buses in general continue to be an attractive target (and sometimes weapon) of terrorists and criminals both overseas and here at home. It isn’t just an overseas issue anymore occurring in faraway countries such as Israel, Turkey, United Kingdom, Pakistan and others, but things are also happening in our own backyard – in Richmond, Miami, Chicago and Dayton. And the latest publicized incident, involved a vehicle ramming terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.
While these incidents leave many shaking their heads and wondering “how could it happen here?”, it is time your company put a security or emergency response plan in place that all your employees are familiar with. Your key personnel need to know what to do if an incident occurs on your bus or at a stop they are making while in route to a destination.
The Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) continues to coordinate with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Surface Division on security initiatives and can serve as a prime nexus point for resources, information and networking. This partnership has collaborated to develop a number of best practices, pamphlets, security planning guides and security training exercises. Make sure you take advantage of the resources available to you. Visit, https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/surface-transportation to access these materials and more.
For general security, the TSA recommends adding the following security action items to your company security plans:
- Identify carrier/operator critical assets by conducting a risk assessment;
- Develop and maintain a written security plan, which is separate from your safety plan;
- Be knowledgeable of industry security practices and incorporate them into your security plan;
- Establish internal security procedures;
- Introduce yourself to your local law enforcement
- Establish an emergency communication plan
- Establish security inspection procedures for vehicles
- Ensure all employees receive security awareness training – keep a record of training; and
- Develop and implement a company-wide policy on drills, exercises and incident response requirements for all levels of employees. You want to invite your local law enforcement agency to these trainings as well.
- Specifically, in light of recent events, we recommend that you take a look at TSA’s new vehicle ramming guidance.
Finally, make sure your drivers and their passengers are always aware of their surroundings and who is in them. If you see something, say something. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement (dial 9-1-1), and even if you are not sure what is happening, but something feels “off.” Your local law enforcement will be happy to come and check things out for you.
Stay informed on the latest threats! Keep up to speed on the latest security developments worldwide through daily intelligence briefings from the highway information sharing and analysis center. Click here to sign up for daily security alerts.
For example, if you are receiving these alerts you might have heard today about a security awareness message that was issued regarding hydrogen sulfide gas that is being rumored to be threatened against U.S. transportation targets by homegrown extremists.
Sign up today for an upcoming regional TSA Security Training workshop:
* September 20, Newark, DE - https://northeastcorridor-wilmington.tsaistep.net/
* September 13, St. Louis, MO – RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org