Archive for January, 2021

TIRES is seeking trucking companies to test a new online safety program tool!

Want to help test a new, state-of-the-art tool that’s designed to boost truck driver safety? The Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) project is seeking local and regional Washington State trucking companies with around 50 trucks or less to test a beta version of its Safety Program Development Tool. Testing will begin later this month.

As a tester, you will simply try the tool, review the safety program it creates for you, and then let us know about your experience. All you need is a Google Chrome internet browser, a printer, and a few minutes to enter some basic company information. The tool will do the rest to build you a comprehensive safety program that goes beyond basic compliance requirements. Your responses will help us improve the tool before releasing a final version.

Click here to read the tool overview and then fill out this short sign up sheet so we can contact you.

Thank you,

The TIRES team

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Stop the Traffic! January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

The goal of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is to raise awareness of the human trafficking crisis; to highlight how truck drivers can take action, and to list the warning signs of trafficking and the hotline for drivers to identify and report suspects. Modern-day slavery and human trafficking are horrific violations of human rights that occur whenever people are bought and sold for forced labor or commercial sex. The crisis is global with over 40 million enslaved people around the world today. In the United States, human trafficking exists in all 50 states, with hundreds of thousands of victims, mostly women and children, across the country. It’s also a problem in Washington State as revealed in 2018 when the Washington State Patrol’s Operation Human Freight made 59 arrests and recovered 54 potential human trafficking victims in undercover stings at truck stops and rest areas along I-5 from Federal Way to Centralia.

Human traffickers build their illegal networks by using the nation’s highways. Traffickers often prostitute their victims at truck stops, travel plazas, rest areas, restaurants, and motels. This makes truck drivers vital to the fight against human trafficking. As the eyes and ears of the highways, truck drivers are uniquely positioned to make it harder for traffickers to use the transportation system for their crimes. Indeed, truck drivers have been making a huge impact. According to Truckers Against Trafficking, from December 2007 to June 2019, truck drivers made 2496 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which helped to identify 1230 victims. In 2017, all Washington State commercial truck driving schools began classroom training on human trafficking as a certification requirement. Trucking companies can help by including human trafficking prevention training in their company safety programs. Using a commercial motor vehicle to commit a human trafficking felony can now result in a lifetime CDL ban.

Truck drivers can help report traffickers and recover victims by using the following tips:

Look out for signs that identify trafficking victims:

  • Lack of knowledge of their whereabouts; not in control of ID / passport.
  • Restricted or controlled communication; not allowed to speak for self.
  • Any mention of making a quota or having a pimp / daddy.
  • Signs of branding or tattooing of trafficker’s name (often on the neck).
  • A van, RV or vehicle with multiple women in a mainly male area and / or dropping women off and picking them up 15-20 minutes later.
  • Signs of bruising.

Report the crime immediately:

  • If you see a crime in progress, call 911 and then call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (US), 1-833-900-1010 (Canada), 01800-5533-000 (Mexico), or text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733).
  • If you’re at a truck stop / travel plaza or any other place of business, tell the manager—they must be aware of what is occurring and assist in ending it.
  • Never approach traffickers. Allow police to deal with traffickers and recover victims. Approaching traffickers is dangerous for you and their victims and can also create problems in the prosecuting the traffickers.

For law enforcement to open an investigation on your tip, they need “actionable information.” This would include:

  • Descriptions of vehicles (make, model, color, license plate, truck and / or USDOT number, etc.) and people (height, weight, hair color, eye color, age, etc.). Take a picture if you can.
  • Specific times and dates (When did you see the event in question take place? What day was it?).
  • Addresses and locations where suspicious activity took place.

Helpful links:

Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking

National Criminal Justice Reference Service

The Polaris Project

The Campaign to Restore and Rescue Victims of Human Trafficking under the US Dept. of Health and Human Services

Shared Hope International

Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN)

Washington State Attorney General’s Office

Seattle Against Slavery

International Association of Chiefs of Police

The Tronie Foundation

Washington Engage

Stop the Traffik

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In Memorial to Washington State Truck Drivers Who Died at Work in 2020

Image of multiple candles.

We at Keeptruckingsafe.org send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the truck drivers we lost in 2020. We believe every worker deserves to go home safe each night. It is never easy to find the right words to talk about losing members of our community. These drivers gave their all to provide for their families and to transport the goods that keep America strong. We truly appreciate and respect the hard work trucking professionals do each day. We hope that by keeping safety as part of the daily conversation, we can contribute to the end of trucking related deaths in Washington State.

Below we have listed each truck driver in order of date of death. If we could find an obituary, it is included. Please use the comments to pay your respects to these drivers. We did our best to include obituaries, but were unable to find some. If you are aware of any we missed, add them to the comments.

Gone too soon are:

Ivan Cardenas, 34, Log Truck Driver

Died: June 29, 2020

Mr. Cardenas was driving his log truck on a forest service road when he lost control on a corner and the truck left the road and rolled over.

Obituary

Daniel Armstrong, 63, Truck Driver

Died: July 27, 2020

Mr. Armstrong was a truck driver for an electrical utilities company when he passed away in the parking lot of his employer.

Rodney Petroff, 64, Truck Driver

Died: August 3, 2020

Mr. Petroff died when his tow truck was struck by a semi-truck when he attempted to make a U-turn on a state highway.

Obituary

Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

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