The action plan is a coordinated effort of the Trucking Security Working Group, a task force of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of transportation, trucking, and trucking-related workers in the U.S. and Canada. Included are associations of long haul and local trucking companies, tank truck carriers, agricultural transporters, moving and storage firms, truck rental companies, truck stop operators, and intermodal groups.
The first phase of ATAP includes a color-coded security threat-alert system matched to the system used by the U.S. Office of Homeland Security. The alert levels range from Green, or a low risk of terrorist attacks, to Red, with a severe risk of attacks. As each threat level is reached, additional trucking security activities kick into operation.
The proposed expansion of the American Trucking Associations' Highway Watch Program will play a critical role throughout all alert levels. Currently, with support from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, ATA and several of its affiliated state trucking associations train drivers to spot and report emergency and safety situations. ATAP would expand training to truck drivers in all 50 states, adding observation and communications procedures to enhance national security and extend the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement.
The trucking security plan escalates as alert levels rise by increasing driver vigilance of interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and seaports, activating driver-dispatcher check-ins, and adding regular broadcasts of cargo theft and hijackings. Updated threat information from federal authorities would also be broadcast to drivers.
Initially, truck drivers will report security-related sightings to an industry-sponsored "800" number. The information will then be screened and sent quickly to proper federal and state authorities for prompt action. A full-fledged Highway Watch Operations Center is planned for the next phase of the security action plan.