SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A national non-profit organization is teaming up with the California Trucking Association in hopes of teaching truck drivers how to spot and report sex trafficking suspects out on the road.
The group Truckers Against Trafficking says California is one of the worst states when it comes to human trafficking, but advocates hope to use the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers on the roads within the state to give investigators the edge.
Roughly 4,000 companies are members of the California Truckers Association. That translates to roughly 700,000 drivers who can be trained to spot the problem.
“They are going to be on the look out for human trafficking, sex trafficking and trafficking of young children,” said CTA spokesman Michael Shaw.
Trucking companies are getting training DVDs and cards with tips on how to spot and report suspicious behavior. Truck drivers aren’t being encouraged to intervene directly when they spot trafficking, but will instead get access to a hotline to get help for the victims.
Jenny Williamson — who runs ‘Courage to be You,’ an organization that provides a safe haven for trafficking victims — says those forced into prostitution are often too scared to talk to police, but truck drivers are often fathers.
“Maybe they’ll encounter a hero, and maybe he’ll play a role in their rescue,” Williamson said.