Since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September, 2001, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has contacted more than 36,000 hazardous materials carriers in an effort to increase transportation security.
"These contacts have resulted in 126 referrals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation," said Joseph Clapp, FMCSA administrator. "False names or false personnel information, suspicious inquiries or inappropriate comments, unexplained disappearances, and citizenship irregularities are among the activities that provide a basis for referral."
Clapp discussed the FMCSA reviews of hazmat carriers February 22, 2002, at the National Press Club, Washington DC.
FMCSA will incorporate a security component into its compliance reviews on carriers of hazardous materials and will continue to conduct enhanced security sensitivity visits with carriers of such products as explosives, radioactive materials, and highly toxic substances. Those visits will be more in-depth than the original ones and will include an on-site inspection of facilities and a written report with security recommendations.
"We have expanded our outreach efforts to thwart possible terrorist attacks," he said. "FMCSA has developed a training course to raise awareness of law enforcement officers to the threats that commercial vehicles may pose as terrorist weapons."
FMCSA is working with several trucking associations to develop an outreach program targeted at educating drivers on measures they can take to protect themselves from being the victim of a terrorist hijacking.