WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Homeland Security will give the ATA an extra $21 million grant for its Highway Watch program.
The grant money will become available for use in March 2005, according to the American Trucking Associations. “America’s truckers and other transportation workers are in a unique position to contribute to our homeland security,” said C. Suzanne Mencer, executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Domestic Preparedness. “As they travel our nation’s highways, they must be alert to a possible terrorist attack and know how to respond appropriately, how to take safety precautions, and how to report suspicious activity.”
DHS wants the ATA to use the money to expand the Highway Watch security training and awareness program, which trains highway professionals including truck drivers to identify and report potential security situations on roads to first responders, law enforcement and the intelligence community.
In March of this year, the ATA was given a $19.3 million grant by the Transportation Security Administration to expand the Highway Watch program.
“We are honored to be on duty for America,” said Bill Graves, ATA president. “It makes sense to have a plan that coordinates the efforts of the entire transportation sector to keep our highways safe and secure-and to keep rolling. Otherwise, given the country’s dependence on transportation, America stops.”
Highway Watch started in 1998 as a joint project of the ATA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
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