(PRWEB) July 17, 2005
ÂWe are literally giving our keys to terroristsÂ, states Terry M. Evans, CEO and President of Fleet Defender Consulting Services, LLC. According to CEO Evans, ÂIf the present situation continues, a terrorist attack using tractor trailers is inevitable.Â
According to Mr. Evans, the trucking industry and the government have been slow to react to this impending threat. ÂThe governmentÂs Highway Watch Program is a great first step but it is not nearly enoughÂ, reports CEO Evans. ÂThis is not a 100 yard dash, itÂs a 10 mile marathon. Awareness training is wonderful and we absolutely need to alert and wake up the trucking industry to this grave threat. I canÂt speak highly enough about the dedicated professionals employed with the Highway Watch Program. The problem is that our back door has been left wide open and this training may very well be currently provided to the very terrorists we are attempting to combat. We do little to actually screen drivers today. Fake documents and bogus employment histories could be easily secured in todayÂs lax environment, and even an incompetent terrorist would have little struggle with gaining access to our nationÂs highways. Incredibly, we donÂt even require basic security such as fingerprinting CDL licensed drivers. We fingerprint the guy thatÂs cleaning the toilets at the local office building or school but we regularly hand out commercial driverÂs licenses without establishing clear proof of identity."
CEO Evans appears to know what heÂs talking about. As an Executive Vice President for a national trucking company, Mr. Evans experienced this lapse directly and within months after 9/11.
CEO Evans states ÂWe had two individuals apply for driving positions and both raised red flags. These gentlemen claimed advanced degrees in careers where they could have easily earned $100,000 or more, yet they wanted to be trained to drive a truck. Both had Middle Eastern roots and applied for employment within the same week. Neither had US citizenship, but did have paperwork showing permission to work in the US. When I made my concerns known to the local terrorism task force they didnÂt appear particularly interested and basically said theyÂd look into it and get back to me. After contacting them several times weekly for a month without raising any apparent interest, I suggested I perhaps should also call other government officials. That seemed to move my concerns to the front burner.Â According to CEO Evans, one applicant was arrested immediately as Âa person of interestÂ and both were eventually deported after discovering they were in the country illegally. ÂIn todayÂs climate of an extremely tight driver market, it is quite possible that these individuals would have been hired.Â claims CEO Evans.
Mr. Evans reports another chilling experience which eventually led him to launch Fleet Defender Consulting Services, LLC. ÂDays after 9/11, I was at a truck stop and happened to walk past a truck that was idling in the parking lot. Worse than that, I discovered the rig was unlocked. However, what was really frightening was the fact that this trucker was hauling thousands of gallons of fuel! I took the keys out of the truck, locked the rig and located the driver sitting in the diner. Believe it or not, this driver was actually ticked off at me because I had touched his rig. Â
Mr. Evans reports this scenario continues today. ÂGo to any truck stop in America and you will find trucks sitting empty, unlocked and idling while the driver sits inside having his meal. We are indeed literally giving our keys to terrorists.Â
ÂThe impact of a terrorist attack using trucks would be catastrophic to our national economy. Âclaims CEO Evans. ÂIf you look around your surroundings, you will be hard pressed to find any item that was not, at some point, transported by a truck. Given that trucks are the number one tool used by terrorists worldwide and given that we have not adequately protected ourselves, it certainly isnÂt a quantum leap to conclude that the trucking industry and the nation are in trouble.Â
Readers can access further information by logging on to the company website at http://www.fleetdefender.com