Truck drivers see a lot of things on the road. The Ohio State Highway Patrol office is hoping that truck drivers keep their eyes on the road and their surroundings. The troopers are giving truck drivers tips on how to spot crimes.
On Thursday, a group of Walmart drivers attended a training in Columbus and learned the signs of human trafficking, impaired driving, homeland security and various other crimes.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol isn’t the first department to reach out to truck drivers for help. Drivers have been asked for help with attempted suicides, spot missing children and look for the signs of human trafficking.
Here are some tips on spotting crime:
Spot Human Trafficking– What to look for:
- Young people (especially women) who appear to be under strict control or are being handled
- People who give signs that they are fearing for their safety
- People who are in truck stops that aren’t buying anything, even though they appear very hungry or exhausted
- People showing signs of physical or emotional abuse
- People not in possession of identification or travel documents
Impaired Driving or Fatigued Driving, according to GMAC:
- Failure to turn on headlights at night
- Illegal or sudden turning
- Turning within an unusually wide radius
- Nearly striking other cars or objects
- Sudden or erratic braking
- Drifting, swerving or weaving
- Driving with the face close to the windshield
- Drinking alcohol in the vehicle
- Driving much slower than the posted speed limit
- Rapidly accelerating
- Driving in the middle of the road, or with the left tires on the center line
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
What truck drivers should look for to spot a possible threat to homeland security, according to the Department of Homeland Security:
- People taking pictures of major intersections, tunnels, bridges, major highways or dams.
- People inquiring about the location of major highways, bridges, intersections, etc.
- Vehicles parked near power plants, airport fences or other mass transit loations
How to spot a suspicious person:
- Entering someone’s house, may be a burglar
- Jumping a fence into a yard
- Waiting in front of a house, particularly if owners are gone
- Peering into vehicles or trying handles, may be looking for a car to steal
- Entering or leaving a business after hours
- Forcing entry or tampering with doors and windows of vehicles, residence or business
- Running, especially if something of value is being carried
- Loitering around schools, parks, etc., could be a sex offender
- Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms, may be under the influence of drugs
When reporting a crime, try to recall the following facts:
When describing events, write down:
- What happened;
- When it happened;
- Where it occurred (note the nearest cross street, home address, or landmark in relationship to the event);
- Whether injuries are involved (Be prepared to report visible or suspected personal injury. Be as specific as possible – this could save a life!);
- Whether weapons are involved (this information, whether observed or suspected, is vital to responding officers).
When describing vehicles, write down:
- Vehicle license number and state, make and type of vehicle, color, and approximate age;
- Special designs or unusual features, such as vinyl top, mag wheels, body damage, pinstripes, etc.;
- Direction of travel.
In preparing descriptions of persons, it is important to write down the following:
- Height (estimated from eye contact level measured against your height);
- Hair (color and length);
- Facial Hair (beard/mustache);
- Any peculiar or distinguishable mannerisms, physical disabilities, disfigurations, scars or tattoos;
- Voice characteristics;
- Direction of movement.
Above all, if it look suspicious, report it. Trust your gut.