TAT End of the Year Wrap Up--Thank You For Your Help!

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On November 28th 2011, CVTA received below thank you message from TAT's Kendis Paris:

Dear Supporter,

As this year draws to an end, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) wants to thank each and every one of you who have supported us, whether financially or through handing out wallet cards and other TAT materials, through volunteering at trucking shows, creative input and the production of TAT materials, and by helping to spread TAT's message, either verbally or in writing. Your help and support have been invaluable, and have enabled TAT to make significant progress in its mission of educating, equipping, empowering and mobilizing the trucking industry in the fight against human trafficking.

As you know, the trucking industry has a critical role to play in ending human trafficking. In our evolving relationship with the various members of this huge industry, which literally moves America, we have not only become aware of the myriad issues they face in their jobs, but also, as they become educated about human trafficking, of their desire to do their part in fighting this horrendous evil and seeing victims rescued and rehabilitated.

As you consider making your end-of-the-year donations, we'd like to share with you what your support has enabled TAT to do this year and the implications for the future.

In 2011, TAT spent time casting its vision for the trucking industry in a variety of venues. The vision was caught by individuals as well as corporations and companies, and TAT recorded some significant milestones toward the realization of its vision. We share those with you here:

  • To accelerate growth and gain the insight and perspective of members of the trucking industry in a consulting capacity, TAT moved from an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries to its own 501(c)3 organization with a board composed of trucking industry members as well as abolitionists.
  • Kendis Paris, a founding member of Chapter 61 Ministries, was named national director of TAT.
  • TAT held its first press conference at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in August to introduce the trucker who had made the call which resulted in the rescue of Shari, the human trafficking victim featured on the TAT training DVD. Also introduced were a number of truckers who have become truckers against trafficking.
  • TAT made presentations at the first Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition conference, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association conference, the Hear the Cry conference hosted by Freedom Legacy International, the Converse City Council County Chambers meeting; received an award at the first Trucking Social Media Conference; and manned booths at both the Mid-America Trucking Show and the Great American Trucking Show, the industry's two largest annual trucking shows.
  • TA Petro and Pilot Flying J, two of the nation's largest travel plaza chains, declared their public support for TAT and began including TAT materials as part of their employee training as well as speaking about TAT to their customer base.
  • TAT received publicity in numerous publications this year, especially with the announcements concerning TA Petro and Pilot Flying J. These have included Fleet Owner, The Trucker, Trucker Connection, Land Line, Randall Reilly and many association newsletters as well as multiple interviews on numerous trucker-specific radio shows. The Dave Nemo Show, with popular trucking on-air interviews, has started a monthly series on abolitionism. Target Media Partners also plans to run a series of TAT articles in their publications starting January 2012.
  • Carol Cipriano of Carol's Travel Time has planned and is doing a trucker cruise in May 2012 as a fundraiser for TAT. Featured entertainer will be Joey Holiday, a well-known trucking musical celebrity. Trucking sponsors for raffle prizes for the cruise include Tenstreet LLC, TCI, TA Petro, OOIDA and IdleAir.
  • The California Trucking Association ordered 4000 DVDs and 80,000 wallet cards to distribute to their 4,000 member contacts. Upon reviewing TAT materials, the Colorado Motor Carrier Association invited TAT to one of its meetings where members of the local travel plaza industry and the Colorado Department of Transportation were present and responded favorably to TAT's message.
  • TAT has distributed between 180,000-200,000 wallet cards, over 7000 DVDs, in addition to posters and vent-window decals. People can also download the DVD straight from the TAT website. The DVD was also used to open the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth conference for over 200 law enforcement and judicial members. Wallet cards have recently been translated into Spanish and French and are currently being translated into French Canadian for use in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Requests for these materials come from individual truckers as well as companies and groups fighting human trafficking.
  • TAT's social media coordinator has increased our Facebook following to over 2900 fans and our Twitter following to almost 12,000. A company also volunteered its time and created an Android app of TAT's wallet card. It hopes to create an iPhone app as well.
  • Polaris Project, which runs the national hotline, reported in early October that they had received 105 calls from truckers from May-September 2011, a significant jump over the 125 calls received from truckers from 2007-May 2011.
  • Carriers who have requested TAT materials for training purposes with their employees include C.R. England, U.S. Express, Tango Transport, Danny Herman Trucking, Southern Illinois Express, Groendyke Transport, Navajo, Bridge Terminal Transport and others. The Owner Operator Independent Driver Association also passes out TAT materials in its office.

TAT is regularly contacted by groups, both internationally and nationally, about ways to work together. These include other NGOs (non-governmental organizations), such as Not For Sale, a well-known abolitionist group; Men Against Sex Trafficking (MAST) in Canada; and the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association. Additionally, TAT works with volunteers throughout the nation to distribute its materials and further its message to members of the trucking industry in their local area.

TAT is also working to build partnerships with Taxis on Patrol, a program similar to TAT in so far as it asks taxi drivers to contact police when they see DUIs, hit and runs, etc., in order to have them add human trafficking and the national hotline number to their regular training. Possible intervention work could come out of this. TAT is also in the initial phases of speaking with the Denver Police Department and the Dallas Police Department about using its driver database to work with law enforcement on surveillance and undercover operations. Both of these police departments have been awarded special grants from the FBI to combat human trafficking. With these types of relationships growing, TAT has added to its list of formal goals: partnering with law enforcement to facilitate the investigation of human trafficking.

If you'd like to further TAT's work with a financial gift, you can either donate on our website,, or make checks payable to Truckers Against Trafficking and send to Truckers Against Trafficking, PO Box 816, Englewood, CO, 80151. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you again for your generous support of this work. We're excited to see who'll come on board and how far TAT will travel in 2012!

Kendis Paris

TAT National Director

Regal Cinemas and Outcast's PumpTop TV Join Safety Campaign

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“One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign; both to feature new “OMG” PSA

With the holiday season upon us, newer drivers--whether home on college break or out of high school for winter vacation--will be taking to our roadways in greater number.  And at DOT, we’re trying to reach them wherever we can with two new distracted driving awareness ads.

This week, that means we'll see them in the movies...and at the gas pumps.

Thanks to the generosity of our newest safety partners, Regal Entertainment Group and Outcast's PumpTop TV, we're bringing the “One Text or Call” campaign to what may be our largest audience ever through our new “OMG” Public Service Announcements (PSAs).

All this week, a version of the new “OMG” ad geared towards teens will run exclusively on 6,589 movie screens in 526 cinemas owned and operated by Regal Entertainment Group across the country.  And throughout December, a different version will air on the 12,000 screens operated by Outcast’s PumpTop TV at high-traffic gas stations across the United States.

“It’s so important that we educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and help them make smart decisions that will keep them safe during the holiday season and beyond,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland... Continue reading.

DOT Sets Final Rule Banning Truck Drivers’ Use of Hand-Held Phones

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The Department of Transportation announced a final rule that will ban interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cellphones while operating their vehicles.

The rule, issued by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, is the latest move by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to end distracted driving.

The rule prohibits commercial drivers from using hand-held phones while driving a truck or bus, sets federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualifies drivers from operating a commercial motor vehicle after multiple offenses.

Commercial truck and bus companies that allow drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a penalty of up to $11,000. The rule will affect about four million commercial drivers, DOT said.

FMCSA issued a regulation banning truck drivers from texting while operating in September 2010. PHMSA followed with a companion regulation in February 2011, banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers... Continue reading


Campaign Educates on Sharing the Road with Big Rigs

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WASHINGTON - In Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood Saturday, both kids and adults got to hop up and sit in the cab of a tractor trailer.

Five year- old R.J. Davis couldn't wait for his turn. His reaction: "It's cool."

The truck is part of the "Share the Road" campaign, a highway safety community outreach program, says Elisabeth Barna, vice president of strategic planning for the American Trucking Associations.

The aim is "to try and educate the public about sharing the road with large trucks," she says.

Besides the truck's major blind spots, Barna says it takes a tractor-trailer that is carrying a full-load the entire length of a football field plus the end zones to stop... Continue reading


DOT to Warn Teens About the Dangers of Distracted Driving

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DOTRegal Cinemas and Outcast’s PumpTop TV to Air PSAs Across the Country

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Transportation today unveiled “OMG,” a new public service announcement (PSA) to warn teenagers against the dangers of distracted driving. The PSA is available on the newly redesigned website, along with new materials designed especially for young drivers. The PSA will air nationwide on Regal Cinema theater screens this week and on gas station pump-top screens owned by Outcast’s PumpTop TV throughout the month of December.

“Teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving which is why we are making an extra effort to ensure they understand the dangers,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Thanks to the help of Regal Cinemas and Outcast’s PumpTop TV, we’re reaching teens directly – whether they’re at the movies or filling up their tanks – to emphasize the importance of keeping their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their focus on driving at all times.”

With the holiday driving season under way and young drivers preparing to take to the roadways during their winter vacations, the new PSA is designed to reach teenagers using imagery that relates to popular shorthand text messages such as “L8R” for “later” or “LOL” for “laugh out loud.” 

Two versions of the PSA will air. A version geared towards a teenage audience will run exclusively on 6,589 movie screens in 526 cinemas across the country that are owned and operated by Regal Entertainment Group. A more somber version will air on the 12,000 screens that top pumps at high traffic gas stations across the United States operated by Outcast’s PumpTop TV. Both versions of the PSA are available for viewing on DOT’s redesigned website,

“Regal Entertainment Group is pleased to support the Department of Transportation’s public service campaign to create awareness of many driver distractions and to encourage safe driving habits,” stated Greg Dunn President and COO of Regal Entertainment Group. “We hope that together we can make a difference by programming the 'Distracted Driving' PSA in our theaters across the country during this busy holiday season.”

“We are proud to work with Secretary LaHood and DOT to help raise awareness for this lifesaving campaign by reaching drivers with a relevant reminder about texting and talking while driving,” said Nathan Gill at Outcast’s PumpTopTV. “We want to ensure that our busy, on-the-go audience has access to important information that can help save lives, and there is no better time to be reminded of this vital message than during those five minutes our viewers are stopped at the pump.”

“Today’s teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging. That’s why it’s so important that we educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and help them make smart decisions that will keep them safe during the holiday season and beyond,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend toward this dangerous behavior, including a dedicated website to provide the public with a comprehensive source of information on the issue. Since then, DOT has also hosted two national summits devoted to reducing distracted driving, crafted sample legislation which states can use to adopt distracted driving laws, and initiated pilot law enforcement programs in Hartford, Conn., and Syracuse, N.Y., modeled after the Department’s successful efforts to increase seatbelt use and curb drunk driving.

Currently 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have banned text messaging by all drivers. Nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have prohibited all hand-held cell phone use while driving.

To view the new ads click here.

To learn more about DOT’s campaign against distracted driving, visit

Laser-guided Trucks to Beat Driver Shortages

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Laser-guided Truck
Picture Source: Mail Online

Remote trucks and forklifts are the answer to resolving driver shortages in the transport industry, according to corporate advisory insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson.

Laser-guided driverless vehicles are starting to appear on mining sites, which are programmed and controlled by an operator at a computer.

Rio Tinto’s recent decision to buy 150 driverless Komatsu trucks is a sign of different things to come, a partner at Ferrier-Hodgson, Brendan Richards, says.

“They are expanding on a trial of five trucks which has been operating since 2008 at its West Angelas iron ore mine in the East Pilbara region,” he says.

“Fortescue Metals is also looking to have a dozen Caterpillar autonomous trucks in operation by the end of the year, with another 33 to follow.”

Rio Tinto plans to have up to 40 percent of its fleet driverless by 2015 and controlled by a state-of-the-art operations centre in Perth, Richards adds.

“Whilst this represents a massive investment, costing about 30 percent more than conventional vehicles, in the context of an industry-wide labour shortage, transport operators have to increasingly think outside the box,” he says.

“This technology has enormous potential to boost productivity and reduce costs for operators in the resources sector. In the meantime, it is giving the rest of the trucking industry... Continue reading


President Obama Signs Veterans Tax Credit Bill

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by Jim Dao

If anyone doubted that veterans remain potent political symbols, they need look no further than Congress’s ability to set aside partisan gridlock last week and overwhelmingly enact legislation providing tax credits to businesses that hire veterans. Flanked by veterans advocates, President Obama signed the bill into law this morning.

The “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” will provide tax credits of up to $2,400 for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks; up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months; and up to $9,600 for businesses that hire veterans who have service-connected disabilities and have been unemployed longer than 6 months.

Though the unemployment rate among veterans of all ages is actually lower than the overall population, the rate is high among veterans of the current wars, standing at 12 percent, compared with about 9 percent for the population at large. The higher rate is driven largely by widespread joblessness among veterans under 25 years old, whose unemployment rate was 30 percent last month.

There has long been debate among economists over whether tax credits actually create jobs, or simply reward businesses for hiring people that they would have hired anyway. In, Daniel Indiviglio wrote recently that the tax credits might create at most a few new jobs, but that they were mainly likely to encourage the hiring of veterans over nonveterans when their qualifications are similar.

“Few employers will create new jobs from scratch just to try to bring on more veterans and obtain the credit,” Mr. Indiviglio wrote.

But Mr. Indiviglio also asserted that shifting the proportion of new hires toward veterans would be a good thing by helping to correct what he called “a grave injustice.”

“If these brave men and women chose not to fight for their country but merely remained civilians instead years ago, then many would more likely be employed today,” he said.

That sentiment seems to be shared across ideological lines on Capitol Hill and in many business circles right now.

An editorial on last week, for instance, made the case that even if the tax credits do not stimulate the economy or create new jobs, they are morally the right thing to do.

“We have no illusion that these credits are going to create lots of new jobs,” the editorial said. “But they will encourage employers to favor veterans when hiring. In a robust, growing economy, that might be an unnecessary accommodation to returning military personnel. However, after a decade of brutal warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, where fighting men and women have served grueling multiple deployments, it seems a small and entirely just recompense.”

On a White House blog, a Marine Corps veteran, Justin Constantine, wrote on Monday that the tax credits were not “an overall panacea to our veterans’ unemployment problems,” but when combined... Continue reading