HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law State Rep. Wendy McNamara’s legislation to train Indiana’s new truckers and bus drivers on how to spot and report human trafficking.
According to McNamara, chair of the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee, truck drivers are in a unique position to easily spot signs and victims of human trafficking due to their proximity to remote areas like truck stops and their frequent use of major roadways, which are often used to transport victims. McNamara said she authored House Enrolled Act 1196 to ensure new truck drivers are trained on how to recognize, report and prevent human trafficking on Hoosier roads.
HEA 1196 requires any Hoosier pursuing their commercial driver’s license through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, including truck and bus drivers, to watch a video on how to recognize signs of human trafficking and how to report it to the proper authorities. A news release says Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization which spoke in favor of the bill, currently uses a training video to inform drivers about this topic.
McNamara says, “As the Crossroads of America, Indiana has a special responsibility to ensure our roadways and traffic stops aren’t safe havens for traffickers and other criminals. Sex trafficking often occurs at rest areas and truck stops due to their remote nature, and truck drivers could quickly alert police if they know the warning signs. I’m proud to roll out this new initiative with our partners in the trucking industry to ensure more drivers are informed and trained on reporting suspicious activity, which could ultimately help save lives and put criminals behind bars.”