Texas lawmakers are thinking about a bill that would require truck drivers applying for a CDL to complete training to recognize the signs of sex trafficking.
Proposed Texas Senate Bill 128 could help save some of these victims, with the aid of truck drivers.
By some estimates, there are over 300,000 victims of sex trafficking in the state, including nearly 80,000 children.
Waco, TX had more arrests for human trafficking than any other city in the nation. Natalie Garnett from local trafficking group “Unbound” says Waco’s location alongside I-35 makes it an attractive spot for traffickers and their buyers.
Because big rig drivers often travel alone and sleep in their trucks, truck stops are a primary location used in the sex trade
Truck driver JT Morris said “one of our drivers had another driver from a different company approach them, wanted to know if they’d seen any working girls around”.
Unfortunately, his statement tells of an extremely common occurrence in truck stops across the country.
Truckers Against Trafficking is the organization that started training truckers to spot sex trafficking.
As a training example, traffickers like to brand their victims as property by tattooing them. Look for tattoos like:
- man’s name
- street name
- dollar sign or a money bag
“(Truckers) have this ability to be the eyes and ears (for spotting and catching these traffickers) that other people can’t”, said Garnett. “I think giving them the opportunity to kind of champion this could help abate the demand for trafficking among truck drivers and then also lead to the rescue of some victims.”
Since TAT started training, truckers have made over 1,500 calls to the National Human Trafficking hotline, which led to the rescue of over 1,000 victims. 299 of those rescued were minors. Nicely done!
You’ve probably heard the saying, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Drivers, help out and call in if you see any signs of trafficking in your travels. Share this information with fellow truckers. Lives depend on it.
TAT Hotline: 1-888-3737-888