Truckers Can Help As January Is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Truckers Can Help As January Is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

What if truckers were educated and equipped to spot and report potential signs of human trafficking to the National Hotline?

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and with over three million truck drivers across the United States, who better to spot potential signs of trafficking on the roads, at public rest stops, travel plazas, restaurants, and hotels?

This is the motivation behind Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) who have trained over 1.2 million people across the industry about what to look for and how to report human trafficking to police.

According to TAT, our society has traditionally been conditioned to see the problem as “prostitution.” Too often the response has been to ignore it. But it is critical to consider, “What’s her story?” It is quite possible that a person engaged in commercial sexual activity has not chosen to be there but has been forced or coerced.

Why truckers matter

Sex trafficking often occurs at truck stops in the United States in two forms, through commercial sex and fake massage businesses.

Due to their frequently remote locations and transient customer base, truck stops are an ideal venue for traffickers to profit from exploiting victims without interference or undue attention.

“Human traffickers often use roadways as the mode of transportation for transporting their victims,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Since our roadways are the ‘workplace’ for truck drivers, motorcoach drivers and commercial motor vehicle inspectors, they are in a prime position to make a difference in helping to identify potential victims of human trafficking.”

In January 2015, Kevin Kimmel caught a glimpse of a distraught looking young girl in the darkened window of an RV which had pulled into the truck stop where Kimmel had stopped to sleep. He decided things did not look right and called the police. When police responded, they found an Iowa couple in the RV, along with a 20-year-old malnourished and frightened young woman, who said the couple had kidnapped her two weeks earlier in Iowa and forced her into prostitution. The couple was arrested and charged with sex trafficking.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is launching a new annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI) corresponding with each country’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

  • In the U.S., the initiative will start on U.S. Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is January 11, and go to January 13.
  • In Canada, it will start on Canada’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is February 22, and go to February 24.
  • Mexico’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is scheduled for March 15-17.

This initiative is an awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.

“Identification, and ultimately prevention, starts with education,” Capt. Broers added. “Through CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, we aim to equip drivers and inspectors with the tools they need to proactively serve on the frontline in our effort to end human trafficking.”

In preparation for the 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, CVSA is offering human trafficking awareness resources in its membership and working with the Truckers Against Trafficking organization to distribute wallet cards and window decals. In addition, during the three-day awareness initiatives, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submit that data to the Alliance.

What is Human Trafficking?

According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud, or coercion with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women, and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America.

Force: Physical or sexual abuse, often in the form of repeated rapes by one or more people to create submission; confinement to the residence; restrictions on movement and communication to family and friends; forced abortions; lack of medical treatment or reproductive health; forced and frequent movement between cities.

Fraud: False promises of a better life through the trafficker presenting as a boyfriend or caretaker figure; false information about working conditions, payment, and whether commercial sex will be required; telling the victim that if he or she initially consented to be part of the escort service that he or she must continue to consent and is not a victim.

Coercion: Threats of harm to the victim or victim’s family; threats to shame the victim by revealing the commercial sex to his or her family and others in the community; confiscation of birth certificates and other identification documents; forced dependency on the trafficker; rumors of or witnessed violence at hands of traffickers used as threats; cycle of rewards and punishments; threats of police involvement and arrest; threats of deportation if victim is a foreign national.

Traffickers frequently move their victims from city to city, forcing victims to engage in commercial sex at truck stops along the way. Brothels disguised as massage businesses are also sometimes present at or near truck stops. These networks control women through confinement and complicated debt bondage schemes.

How to Help: Stay Alert to Suspicious Activity and Report Trafficking

How to Help: Stay Alert to Suspicious Activity and Report Trafficking

A good starting point for truckers is to watch for young teenage girls or boys lingering around truck stops or entering and exiting trucks, since these would not be normal occurrences.

You can listen to the conversation on the CB radio and stay alert for:

  • code words like “lot lizard” or “Commercial Company”
  • for anyone using cryptic descriptions of a child, rates or sex acts they are looking for

Finally, report any indicators of trafficking, regardless of how minor the indicator may seem.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or

First Heavy-duty Electric Truck Charging Site Opens In Oregon

First Heavy-duty Electric Truck Charging Site Opens In Oregon
(Image Courtesy: DTNA – Daimler Trucks North America)

The charging station will allow both Portland General Electric and Daimler to study energy management, charger use and performance, and Daimler vehicles charging performance.

First announced in December 2020, “Electric Island” in Portland, Oregon represents the first location specifically designed for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and has eight vehicle charging stations for electric cars, buses, box vans and semi-trucks.

In collaboration with the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative (WCCTCI), with nine electric utilities and two government agencies, this is a part of the plan to electrify 1,300 miles of I-5 across the three West Coast states to provide publicly available charging for freight and delivery trucks.

Additional plans include on-site energy storage, solar power generation, and a product and technology showcase building.  Electric Island aims to address the intersection of vehicles and the grid, creating new opportunities for future EV drivers and utility customers.

“In Oregon, we are committed to taking action to address climate change, and we know that the future of transportation is electric. Today, the charging station at Electric Island, the first known freight charging station on the I-5 corridor, shows that Oregon is the ideal place to innovate and develop 21st-Century transportation infrastructure,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Thanks to the partnership of Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks North America, we are working together towards our goal of creating a West Coast Electric Highway.”

Read more: Electric and autonomous semi-trucks beyond 2020

Charging site will eventually achieve five Megawatts of power

Currently the highest power unit installed at the Swan Island charging site is 150 Kilowatts, but it can go up to 350 kilowatts.

To compare, Tesla Superchargers can deliver 72 kilowatts of power, even if another Tesla begins charging in an adjacent stall, with an average Supercharging session lasting around 45-50 minutes in city centers.

The station will eventually bring five megawatts of power from the grid with both 400-Volt and 800-Volt charging available, and some of the units will go to 1,000 volts.

Nate Hill, head of charging infrastructure for Daimler, said “this level of charging capability will be necessary to recharge the larger battery packs that are planned to power Daimler’s new line of Class 6/7 and Class 8 semi-trucks that will be produced here in Portland.”

Daimler plans to begin production of the eCascadia semi-truck in late 2022, and the eM2 box truck about six months later in 2023. With a range of 230-250 miles on a charge, both models are designed for urban and regional use, rather than cross-country applications.

Read More: Breaking Down Biden’s First Half $2.3T Infrastructure plan

Proactive DOT Compliance

At CNS, our DOT Compliance Programs focus on Proactive Safety Management (PSM),a mindset that will ensure your fleet’s safety and compliance is always in order and ahead of the FMCSA.

Our PSM Motor Carrier Program includes:

  • ELD management
  • Driver Qualification File Management
  • New driver on-boarding
  • Driver safety meetings
  • CSA score management
  • Policies and handbooks
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • and more

Learn more about our DOT Compliance Programs

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or

Where Trucking Regulations Stand As We Enter 2021 With A New Administration

As we transition from a Republican agenda to a Democrat agenda with Biden coming into office, there is potential for substantial impact within the trucking industry in the coming years. 

Since Democrats have won a majority in the U.S. House in 2018, they have laid out a bolstered regulatory agenda regarding trucking, including previously proposed bills that call on a return to public view of CSA scores, speed limiter rules, and sleep apnea rules.

Overall, we expect a more active regulatory DOT, since Biden is looking to amend DOT order 2100.6 to eliminate Trump’s requirement that new rules require repeal of two existing rules.

Let’s take a look at what 2021 may bring.

2020 Hour of Service Rule Changes

Last year marked the first time the hours-of-service rules had a major update in years that were highlighted after the ELD rollout.

Drivers could begin operating under the new HOS regulations on September 29, 2020 after the rule was debuted on May 14, 2020.

The HOS rules changes will improve the workday for many truckers, including short-haul and team drivers, and will increase overall flexibility while the overall structure of HOS rules have not changed.

The 4 major changes in the 2020 hours of service reforms will affect the:

  • 30-minute rest break requirement
  • split-sleeper berth exception
  • short-haul exemption, and
  • adverse driving condition exemption

For more information, see the details of these rule changes.

The DOT may look at the other HOS rule changes that did not make a cut, and what effects the new changes are making, as to whether implement more HOS changes in the future.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Another major CDL Clearinghouse deadline approaches where companies could face fines, if in violation, and the Clearinghouse website may crash again as required annual query deadline approaches

With the FMCSA Clearinghouse now in effect for pre-employment, random testing and return-to-duty processes, employers of CDL drivers must follow a new drug testing process when hiring a potential new driver before a pre-employment drug test can be done at a collection site.

Violations can occur if required information is not loaded into the database, or if pre-employment drug tests are performed before a new hire gives consent for a detailed query.

Before the new hire driver can be tested, the employer needs to make sure the driver is registered to the FMCSA Clearinghouse, then request electronic driver consent to run a detailed query, run a query on the driver (employer or C/TPA), and ensure no recent negative drug testing history is present.

The other major required process for employers, including owner-operators, is to annually query all current CDL drivers at least once a year to make sure no violations appeared in the database. If the limited query returns any results, a detailed query is required.

This means the majority of CDL drivers need to have had a limited query run on them by January 6, 2021 or face potential violations and fines if found to be done late or not at all during an audit.

Greenhouse Gas Emission

Biden will likely restore strict fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards that were placed during the Obama administration, which Trump rolled back.

Biden is also expected to drop the effort to revoke California’s waiver, which would allow the state to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards, while the EPA under a Democratic administration will develop a more collaborative relationship with California air quality regulators.

Speed Limiting Rule

In June 2019, Senators revived a plan that would “require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more to be equipped with speed-limiting devices, which must be set to a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour and be used at all times while in operation.”

The maximum speed requirement would also be extended to existing trucks that already have the technology installed.

Trucks without speed limiters will not be forced to retroactively install the technology.

This legislation is likely to be brought back in a Biden administration.

Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a breathing-related sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. These pauses in breathing can last at least 10 seconds or more and can occur up to 400 times a night.

With 28% of commercial truck drivers likely suffering from mild to severe sleep apnea, these drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a crash, and the total cost of collisions related to apnea is estimated at $15.9 billion a year, according to research from the National Safety Council.

In order to diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor may send you to a sleep center for testing. You may be asked to spend a night at the center, where experts will monitor your sleep.

In August 2017, FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) decided against moving forward on a possible regulation mandating the testing and treatment of sleep apnea for truck drivers and other transportation workers.

This is on the back-burner but not completely dead.

Hair Drug Testing

The industry is seeking additional drug testing methods, like hair and oral saliva testing, that can be used to prevent unsafe drivers on the roads as these methods are harder to cheat and provide a more complete drug testing history.

Large fleets have long used hair testing for pre-employment testing, catching 5 to 10 times more drug users than industry standard urine testing. However, currently these positive results cannot be released to the drivers record per DOT regulations.

Once completed, the DOT will adopt HHS hair testing guidelines and eventually prevent these drivers from seeking a job with another fleet.

As of right now, the proposed guidelines fall short of what the trucking industry has been hoping for.

The HHS proposed hair testing guidelines were published in the Federal Register on September 10, 2020. After the 60-day comment period, which ended November 10, 2020, HHS will review all comments and can make additional changes to their proposal. This process could take months.

When HHS releases their final proposed guidelines, the industry will need to wait for the Department of Transportation to go through its rulemaking process to allow the use of hair testing by motor carriers. While the DOT will likely adopt HHS guidelines, this process could take two years on its own.

However, Congress may try to push for immediate DOT adoption and the incoming Biden administration may apply pressure to speed up this process as well.

Autonomous/Electric Trucks

Electronic and autonomous trucking will be here quicker than you think.

Don’t worry, truckers will not be affected tomorrow, but it is definitely something to think about over the next decade or two.

There is much that still needs to be considered before mass adoption of electric fleet vehicles like the Tesla Semi. This includes dozens to hundreds of megacharging stations to be built at trucking terminals and over the road chargers meant for truckers, showing they can handle consistent next day maintenance repairs if the truck breaks down, etc.

However, the incoming Biden administration is expected to increase regulatory oversight of electric and self-driving cars and trucks and increase the availability of federal tax credits for EVs.

For fleets to realize economic gains from autonomy requires a new set of processes and systems designed to assure safety and provide a positive return on investment. Over time, fleets would expect to see more balanced routes and reduction in mixed traffic and commuter congestion.

If the technology is nailed, then peak hours of travel can be circumnavigated to provide greater assurance on cargo arrival times, partnered with improved safety of fellow road-users.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or

Truckers Voting 2020: Some States Offer Same Day Voter Registration and In-Person Voting

Truckers Voting 2020

It’s not too late to register and vote in-person in many states.

For long-haul truckers, in-person voting can be hard to schedule on Election Day, but even so, FreightWaves recent survey found that truckers are largely planning to vote in person on November 3, 2020.

According to their social media survey, 70% stated they planned to vote in person in this year’s presidential election while 8.3% plan to vote by absentee ballot, and 16.7% already voted by mail-in ballot. 

If you are registered to vote, there are 40 states plus Washington, D.C. that allow in-person voting at your dedicated polling location days before the election.

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.


Not Registered to Vote?

21 States and D.C. Allow Voter Registration and Voting on Election Day

If you have not registered to vote but still want to vote in-person, twenty-one states and Washington D.C. allow you to both register and cast your ballot on Election Day at your polling place.

Many states require additional documentation in order to register and vote on Election Day, such as state-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document that has your name and current address.

These states include:

  • California: If the voter registration deadline has passed, you can still conditionally register to vote and cast a provisional ballot in person at your County Elections Office at any time up to and including Election Day. Your provisional ballot will be counted when your County Elections Official verifies your voter registration.
  • Colorado: You can register and cast a ballot up through Election Day by appearing in-person at a Voter Service and Polling Center during the Early Voting period or on Election Day
  • Connecticut: If the voter registration deadline has passed, you can still register to vote in person at a designated Election Day Registration office.
  • District of Columbia: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting or on Election Day.
  • Hawaii: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting at early walk-in locations and on Election Day at your polling place.
  • Idaho: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting or on Election Day.
  • Illinois: You can also register in person (and vote) at your local elections office during the “grace period.” The grace period starts 27 days before Election Day and ends on Election Day. Grace Period Voting does NOT take place at your regular polling place. Grace Period Voting almost always happens at your Local Election Office.
  • Iowa: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting or on Election Day.
  • Maine: If you register to vote within 21 days of an election, including on election day, you must appear in person to register at the municipal registrar in order to register.
  • Maryland: You can register to vote in-person during early voting and on Election Day.
  • Michigan: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting or on Election Day.
  • Minnesota: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during the in-person absentee voting period or on Election Day.
  • Montana: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote at your county election office through close of polls on Election Day, except between noon and 5:00 p.m. the day before the election. You’ll have to register at the office of your Local Election Office — not at a polling place.
  • Nevada: You may register to vote in-person at the polling place either during early voting or on Election Day.
  • New Hampshire: If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time on Election Day.
  • North Dakota: North Dakota does not have voter registration. You simply need to bring valid proof of ID and residency to the polls in order to vote.
  • Rhode Island: You may register in person on Election Day at your local Board of Canvassers but only for Presidential elections.
  • Utah: An individual who is not registered to vote may register to vote, and vote, on election day or during the early voting period — however, individuals must vote by provisional ballot.
  • Vermont: You can register to vote on Election Day at your polling place.
  • Washington: Individuals may register to vote in a voting center, or other location designated by the county auditor in his or her county of residence no later than 8:00pm on the day of the primary, special election, or general election.
  • Wisconsin: Individuals may register to vote in person at your polling place on Election Day.