Today in the Wisconsin state Capitol, a bipartisan bill was introduced in a public hearing that would require truck drivers to take human trafficking prevention training.

In this training, truck drivers in Wisconsin would be trained on how to spot human trafficking while on the road.

According to this proposal, certified commercial driver education courses would have to include information about how to identify and prevent human trafficking, the illegal transportation of people, usually for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.

These courses will be available at both technical colleges and at licensed private driver schools.

The proposal states, “No later than June 30, 2019, the department of justice in consultation with the technical college system board and the department of transportation, shall identify and establish industry-specific materials for use in this instruction.”

Rep. Joel Kleefisch, one of the bill’s sponsors, says that human trafficking is cause for concern as it spreads through Wisconsin.

He explains, “We have an opportunity to get ahead of it, and so many people take [commercial drivers license] classes to become truck drivers can be the front line to help us stop human trafficking.”

He believes that truck drivers are in a prime position to notice human trafficking – truck drivers see so much while on the road, encountering human trafficking is inevitable.

To further combat human trafficking, the state Department of Justice announced last month that they have established a new bureau dedicated to fighting human trafficking. The department aided in the arrest of 25 suspected sex traffickers in July and August, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

“It makes sense to have future truck drivers knowledgeable of what the signs are for human trafficking because unfortunately a lot of the human trafficking is done at truck stops and rest areas,” Kleefisch said. “Truck drivers can be our eyes and ears to help stop this horrific crime.”

Other states including Arkansas and Ohio already have laws requiring human trafficking training for CDL holders on the books.