In the aftermath of the recent terror attacks in Germany using a commercial motor vehicle as a weapon, TSA recommends that fleet owners and operators of trucks and buses become proactive to prevent, protect and mitigate the use of commercial vehicles in terrorist attacks within North America.
For Truck and Motorcoach Operators
• Instruct all drivers to go online to www.tsa.gov/firstobserver to view the security awareness training module and to maintain a high level of alertness when operating or parking their vehicles.
• Instruct drivers and maintenance staff to keep vehicles locked while in operation and while parked.
• Instruct drivers to be suspicious of any unknown person who approaches them or attempts to enter the vehicle while in route.
• To the extent possible, avoid resting in vehicles parked in secluded areas and be wary of persons who may be observed outside your vehicle when exiting.
• Reinforce the importance of strong vehicle security during any period when your operation or your cargo destinations are near outdoor community events, festivals, concerts or other activities which place crowds near roads, streets or venues accessible by vehicles.
• Instruct all staff to report any suspicious activities, behavior or approaches by unauthorized persons to proper authorities and company leadership.
• Ensure that all tracking, telematics and communication functions are operational on all vehicles.
• Consider offering your vehicle to planners and law enforcement as a barrier to streets, alleys or parking facilities which lead directly to festival areas.
• Explain to your passengers the need to secure your vehicle during festival or event activity.
• Reinforce to staff and passengers the importance of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
For Large Vehicle Rental Companies
• Report to authorities any suspicions arising from the rental of large capacity trucks in areas and within a proximate time frame of street festivals, open air concerts or events.
• Report repeat renters who may appear to be “practicing” their large vehicle skills in the time leading up to a nearby open event.
Would-be terrorists can be stopped by some of the least-intrusive and lowest-cost means available: meaningful security awareness. Drivers and staff who simply remain alert to potential threats are the most effective deterrent to terrorism by commercial vehicle. If a driver is faced with a suspicious and potentially dangerous situation, do not stop or exit the vehicle.
The TSA First Observer Plus™ program, available online at www.tsa.gov/firstobserver, teaches drivers to be aware of those around him or her, to take simple precautions like locking the vehicle while unattended and while driving and parking in well-lighted areas. The program also teaches them what to look for and how to report signs of an impending attack or surveillance which might be part of a preparation for an assault.
TSA will be working with industry to develop security action items to mitigate the potential of commercial vehicles to be used as weapons against large gatherings of people. TSA will be at ABA's Annual Meeting & Marketplace attending the BISC meeting as well as having a booth full of education materials and representatives to answer your questions.