During the recent Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) meeting in June a hot topic of discussion was about counterterrorism and security measures the motorcoach industry needs to invest in to keep their passengers, employees and fleets safe. A running question throughout the two-day meeting was “are you prepared?”
Unfortunately, as you see on the evening news it is a fact of life today that motorcoach and buses in general continue to be an attractive target of terrorists and criminals both overseas and at home. It isn’t just an overseas issue anymore occurring in countries such as Israel, Turkey, United Kingdom, Pakistan and others, but incidents are also happening in our own backyard - Richmond, Va., Nashville and Chicago. While these events 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 employees are aware of and have run drills on so they know what to do if an incident occurs on their bus or at a stop they are making while en route to a destination.
The BISC continues to coordinate with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Surface Division on security initiatives. 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. Click here to access these materials and more.
For general security, the TSA recommends adding the following security action items to your company’s security plan:
• 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.
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 law enforcement, 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.
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.
Join your colleagues from across North America when BISC West kicks off on July 19 in Ontario, Calif.
Are you a member of BISC? Join today to raise the level of safety and security in your business by collaborating with professionals who are committed to safety, regulatory compliance, mechanics, technology and security in the intercity bus and motorcoach industry.