Attorney General Ashley Moody is teaming up with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) to enlist half a million commercial truck drivers in the fight to end human trafficking.
On Monday, Moody launched the multimedia campaign, “Highway Heroes,” in an effort to raise awareness about human trafficking on America’s roadways. The joint effort between Moody and FLHSMV will utilize the networking of licensed truck drivers and provide them with resources on how to identify victims and report 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.
“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.”
We are recruiting #HighwayHeroes to help spot and report #HumanTrafficking.
Join @FLHSMV and I as we challenge half a million Florida truck drivers to join us in the fight to #EndHumanTrafficking. https://t.co/HT9lykejFw pic.twitter.com/VfdP4Q8M08
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) October 26, 2020
As part of the initiative, approximately half a million letters will be sent to CDL holders in Florida by Oct. 30. Additionally, a new website full of information and resources is launching for CDL holders to use to learn 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.”
The campaign will also launch a digital media campaign targeting licensed truck drivers in Florida with messaging about human trafficking. The digital campaign will begin this year and run through January 2021, National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, leading right up to Super Bowl LV which will be played on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa.
“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.”
Moody has made ending human trafficking a top priority since taking office in 2019. Serving as Chair of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, she launched the 2020 Annual Human Trafficking Summit virtually for the first time earlier this month.
Thanks to her efforts, Florida scored a 94-A grade with Shared Hope International for the state’s efforts against human trafficking.
To view the campaign’s website, click HERE.
I think this is an excellent idea. I have worked with truckers in the past and I truly believe they will takle this idea and run with it. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of positive results.
Impressive work. Makes me proud to live in Florida.