The American Trucking Associations applauded the passage of new legislation that would protect Highway Watch participants from legal liability for the reports they make pursuant to the program’s goals.
The new language, Section 541 of the FY 06 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, provides protection for persons who have completed the Highway Watch awareness training, or those who are recognized or acknowledged by an Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Section 541 states that if a Highway Watch participant reports a situation, report, activity or incident pursuant to the Highway Watch program, that person shall not be liable for damages in any action brought in a federal or state court that might result from any act or omission unless the person is guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
“We’re very pleased to see that Congress and President Bush have seen fit to provide this very important protection for our Highway Watch trainees,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. “Highway Watch members are dedicated volunteers who have given their time to help keep America safe and secure, and they deserve to be protected from those who would sue for malicious intent. This legislation has removed a significant hurdle from our recruitment efforts.”