Arkansas truck drivers learn to look for human trafficking
Since 2007, truckers have helped identify more than a thousand potential human trafficking cases. Now drivers in Arkansas will have the necessary training to identify even more in the years to come.
"Truck drivers are the eyes and ears of the nation," David O'Neal, director of safety services at Arkansas Trucking Association, said.
Local truck driver, Gary Mars, has been those eyes and ears on Arkansas roadways for 26 years now. He said he has witnessed everything on the job, even human trafficking.
"When you pull into a truck stop and you see an RV that doesn't look right you know somethings off," Mars said.
Mars said at the time, he didn't know what he was seeing unfold before his eyes, but with help from the Arkansas Trucking Association and Arkansas Legislators, all Arkansas truck drivers will now have the training to see the warning signs of human trafficking.
"Trafficking has gotten out of hand. It is the second largest industry in the nation and this is another way we can combat it," Mars said.
In a private signing on Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson gave Act 922 the stamp of approval and made it law for anyone applying for a commercial drivers license in Arkansas to complete an online human trafficking course.
The course will review the signs of trafficking and who to call when something looks wrong.
"If we can save one life, its worth every bit of it," Mars said.