Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trucking Body Asks Congress and Homeland Security to Work with Freight Industry

Enough Legislation says ATA
Shipping News Feature

USA – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has called on the American Congress and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) to not continue to impose what it describes as “excessive, burdensome and duplicative security rules”, but rather to work with the road freight industry more closely to prevent terrorist attacks.

Speaking at the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security the ATA’s Vice President of Security and Operations, Martin Rojas, said that:

“In the past ten years, many legislative, regulatory and voluntary efforts have been implemented to minimize the threat of another terrorist attack in the U.S. Though well intended, many initiatives have resulted in a multiplicity of overlapping and burdensome security requirements on trucking companies.

“Unfortunately, rather than augmenting the security of the transportation sector, the focus has been more on regulatory compliance rather than evaluating the impact of existing security requirements.”

He pointed out that information sharing was the key aspect in anti-terrorist intelligence, not security regulation. As an example he cited an event that occurred in February when an alert employee at ATA member Con-way prevented a terrorist plot involving explosives when they recognized and researched some of the materials listed in a package and alerted the company’s security team. Federal law enforcement personnel were brought in and the would-be terrorist, Saudi student Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, was arrested when he tried to collect the consignment.

Mr. Rojas stated that the incident indicated more the importance of implementing appropriate security training for employees rather than imposing regulations that absorbed time and effort on the part of members of the freight industry.

In addition to limiting future security mandates, Rojas recommended that as Congress looks to reauthorize the TSA they encourage information sharing between the public and private sectors; improve coordination between federal agencies, many of whom already play a role in transportation security; and ensure that the roll out of readers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential moves forward promptly.

He concluded that:

“We don’t need more regulation, we need more cooperation.”