READING, Pa., March 19, 2007 - Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics have focused their efforts on teaching anti-terrorism and safety measures through the Highway Watch® program offered by the American Trucking Association. Since 2005, Penske Truck Leasing has trained over 15,000 customer drivers. Penske Logistics safety employees became certified to teach the program late last year, and training is currently underway.
The initiative was created by the ATA in 1998 as a safety awareness program for truck drivers. ATA added an anti-terrorism training component to the program in spring of 2002 and entered into a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2004. Today, Highway Watch is a national safety and security program designed to aid in the prevention of terrorists from using large vehicles, or hazardous cargo, as weapons.
"We're doing our part as a responsible community member to ensure that America's highways remain safe," stated Barry Kemper, Vice President - Insurance Risk Management, Penske Truck Leasing. "In 2006, we started, on a wide scale, the process of training our customers' drivers and associates, providing them with the tools to detect and properly report any potentially illegal activity that may place innocent bystanders in harm's way."
Highway Watch is a national safety and security program that utilizes the skills, experience and "road smarts" of America's transportation workers to help prevent terrorists from using large vehicles or hazardous cargoes as weapons and to protect America's critical highway transportation infrastructure. The program teaches participants to become more observant and notice out-of-the-ordinary activities. Examples include: noticing when unfamiliar individuals ask pointed questions while in the area of hazardous materials and warehousing facilities, and at truck stops; cultivating better descriptive recall skills when possibly witnessing illegal acts, e.g. physical descriptions of suspicious persons, colors and makes/models of certain vehicles; and further developing a sense of awareness for out-of-place scenarios, e.g. an abandoned van in the vicinity of a bridge.
"The Highway Watch program has been successfully implemented by Penske Truck Leasing, and this year, we're counting on the same kind of success," explained Stanley Stone, Vice President - Safety, Penske Logistics.
"We've received excellent feedback from customers who have completed the Highway Watch program," Kemper said. "Safety is an important part of our core culture."
"We're proud to have Penske as a member of our Highway Watch team," said Bill Jacobs, Vice President, Highway Watch. "They add tremendous value to this program and we look forward to working with them on this very important safety and security initiative."
There are more than 600,000 Highway Watch trainees nationwide representing all sectors of the surface transportation industry, including truck drivers, school bus drivers, state DOT workers, mass transit workers and emergency first responders, among others. The program is administered by ATA under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For information on how to enroll in the Highway Watch program go to www.highwaywatch.com or call 866-821-3444.
Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., headquartered in Reading, Pa., is a joint venture of Penske Corporation and General Electric. A leading global transportation services provider, Penske operates more than 200,000 vehicles and serves customers from more than 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Product lines include fullservice truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, transportation and warehousing management, and supply chain management solutions. Visit www.GoPenske.com to learn more about the company and its products and services.