Highway Watch has announced that in just three short summer months, the program trained more than 100,000 transportation professionals nationwide, pushing overall enrollment to more than 400,000. Formed by ATA in 1998, Highway Watch began as a safety awareness program for truck drivers; since spring 2002, it has included anti-terrorism training.
In March 2004, ATA entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand Highway Watch and provide anti-terrorism and safety training to the entire surface transportation sector, including truck drivers, mass transit workers, emergency first responders, law enforcement personnel and school bus drivers, among others.
“This has truly been an amazing summer for Highway Watch,” says Bill Jacobs, the program’s vice president. “The program continues to gain momentum with both truck drivers and School Bus Watch trainees, helping to drive the record numbers throughout the summer. We’re pleased with the tremendous commitment these industries have made to keeping America safe and secure.”
Highway Watch-trained transportation professionals contact emergency personnel through a special telephone hotline — providing emergency responders with precise location and incident information. A trained operator at the Highway Watch Call Center verifies the highway transportation professional’s identity (each participant has a unique Highway Watch ID number) and location, and then routes the call to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Additionally, if a call is security-related, a report of the incident is forwarded to the Highway Information Sharing and Analysis Center, where it is shared with government intelligence officials and other law enforcement agencies.
Highway transportation sector professionals are welcome to join Highway Watch by calling 866-821-3444 or going to www.highwaywatch.com.