Florida officials looking to enlist .5M truck drivers to end human trafficking

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody have teamed up to enlist half a million truckers in their fight against human trafficking. 

The “Highway Heroes” campaign was launched on Monday, October 26th and plans to partner with an extensive network of truckers who will help in identifying and reporting suspected human trafficking. 

“Truck drivers play an important role in our fight to end human trafficking. Nearly half a million licensed truck drivers live in Florida, and at any given time—day or night—they can be found transporting goods across our great state. By spending so much time on the road, visiting truck stops and communicating with each other regularly, these drivers create a powerful network that can be called upon to spot and report suspected human trafficking,” said Moody to the Capitolist.

“I am proud to partner with FLHSMV to launch this bold initiative aimed at adding a million eyes and ears to patrol thousands of miles of Florida roadways to help spot human trafficking and rescue trafficking victims from their captors.”

The campaign will be sending out half a million letters to Florida CDL holders by October 30th, requesting their assistance. Additionally, the campaign is launching a new website specifically for truckers, which will teach drivers how to  spot trafficking, gather evidence, report the crime and become a Certified Trucker Against Trafficking.

“In Florida, we are fortunate to have more than 500,000 licensed commercial drivers that serve our communities every day. Not only do they keep our economy moving and haul essential goods, but they also are uniquely positioned to shine a light on traffickers that exploit our transportation system for their horrific crimes,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.

“I appreciate Attorney General Moody and our trucking industry heroes for prioritizing the fight against human trafficking in our state and on our roadways through this important initiative.”

To top it all off, the campaign will be launching multiple ads aimed at educating truckers about human trafficking, which will run through January 2021. 

“Truck drivers serve as the eyes and ears on our roads—ensuring everyone stays safe,” said President of Florida Trucking Association Ken Armstrong. “The members of FTA have made it a priority to train their professional drivers to spot and report human trafficking, with almost one million drivers having already received the training nationally. We encourage ALL Florida commercial truck drivers to become a Certified Trucker Against Trafficking.”