ATA tells Congress transportation security efforts must be risk-based

ARLINGTON, Va. — Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express and vice-chairman of American Trucking Associations, has told a congressional subcommittee that efforts to secure the US transportation system should be deployed based on specific and credible intelligence.

“ATA has followed with some interest TSA’s (the Transportation Safety Administration’s) efforts to establish higher visibility operations in surface transportation,” Byrd said of TSA’s Visible Intermodal Preparedness and Response program, which recently conducted security exercises in Georgia and Tennessee. “ATA supports such operations as long as they are based on intelligence or specific risks that require increased vigilance and security on our highways.”

Byrd added, however, that, “TSA officials informed industry that the presence of VIPR teams at highway facilities, such as weigh stations, was not due to any specific threat or intelligence.”

“Deploying VIPR resources for such a purpose seems contrary to TSA Assistant Secretary Pistole’s objective of ‘employing risk-based, intelligence driven operations to prevent terrorist attacks and reduce vulnerabilities,’” Byrd said. “ATA fully agrees with Mr. Pistole’s approach for deploying agency resources.”

Byrd said the committee should request the results of these exercises so the public and policymakers can judge their effectiveness.

To read all of Byrd’s testimony, click here.

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