Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kids love and miss their trucking parents

This is an equally wonderful and tough time of the year for truck drivers. The distinction between the two for many depends on whether they are going to be able to spend the holidays with friends or loved ones.

After all these years of covering the trucking industry, I know how devout to family many of you are. For parents, it’s particularly hard to miss so much of your children’s lives while you’re supporting your family and out on the road doing a job that borders on thankless.

Some may wonder just how much of an effect a truck-driving parent can have on kids. A lot is the answer. We hear it every year when we read applications to the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund.

This year, I had the pleasure of meeting a driven young man who was looking to complete his senior project to finish high school graduation requirements. Kiernan loves trucking, and he has an interest in journalism. He submitted a piece to Land Line that really speaks to the connection that trucking parents have with their children, even when they are out on the road.

It’s my honor to share Kiernan’s piece and hope that it reminds you how special you are to your kids at home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How ‘First Observers’ could help thwart another ‘Berlin’ attack

In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack in which a commercial truck plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, officials with the Transportation Security Administration have issued a warning encouraging industry partners to practice “continued vigilance and timely reporting of suspicious incidents” during the holiday season.

The unclassified bulletin follows the deadly attack in Germany’s capitol that injured dozens and left 12 people dead.

The TSA bulletin states that the agency is unaware of any imminent plots against surface transportation in the U.S.

“The risk posed by homegrown violent extremists is increased by their ability to plan and initiate attacks with lower probability of detection,” the bulletin states.

Increasing the probability of detecting a potential terror attack is the aim of TSA’s First Observer Plus program, a voluntary training program that provides truckers and other transportation professionals with training on effectively assessing and reporting suspicious individuals, vehicles, packages and objects. OOIDA is a subcontractor for the program.