Fleets are being urged to take action on counter terrorism measures as new research finds that 87% of commercial drivers and operators see terrorism as a potential threat to their vehicles.
Following the disturbing rise in the use of commercial vehicles in terrorist-related incidents, the BVRLA has said the issue is a key challenge for 2018 and is supporting its members, including publishing a check list of security measures.
However, latest research by training provider Fleet Source, which recently launched a Terrorism Risk and Incident Prevention suite of products and training services specifically designed for commercial fleet operators, finds three-quarters (74%) of drivers are being offered little to no training to assist them in protecting their vehicle against the risk of being taken for use in a terror attack.
The survey revealed that 76% of respondents would like to carry out training to learn about the nature of the threats that they may face and a range of safety precautions they should implement to significantly reduce the possibilities of their vehicle being hijacked or stolen and used in a terrorist attack.
The survey also revealed that ‘out of city’ operators are less concerned (42%) about their vehicles being taken for use in a terror attack than those who frequently drive in the city (64%), when the reality is, they’re at the same level of risk.
Only 12% of respondents when being stopped by the undercover police would be totally confident in knowing that the person stopping them had the correct identification or the authority to ask them to leave their cab. In addition, 24% of drivers said they didn’t have or didn’t know if they had a policy in place regarding the security of vehicles when doing drop-offs.
“This is a very serious matter, terrorists are opportunists and operators should consider implementing policies to prevent their drivers from allowing strangers into their cabs. For example, knowing what identification government authorities should be providing to be able to identify whether the individual is legitimate. Being educated on these policies can help protect drivers and the public from the risks of terrorism,” said Nick Caesari, managing director at Fleet Source.
The research from Fleet Source comes as FORS, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, launches a new ‘Security and counter terrorism’ online training resource, aimed primarily at van and truck drivers.
Delivered through the dedicated FORS Professional training programme, ‘Security and counter terrorism’ aims to better focus a driver’s attention to personal and vehicle security, and to the potential threat of terrorism; specifically, theft of vehicles or loads and the use of vehicles as weapons. The ‘Security and counter terrorism’ module also aims to improve driver identification and the reporting of suspicious activity.
Wayne Watling, counter terror focus desk, Metropolitan Police Road and Transport Policing Command, commented: “The threat to the UK from terrorism is high and it is important that drivers and operators report anything suspicious to the police as soon as possible.
“I was keen to be involved in the development of this important security and counter-terrorism eLearning module,” he added, “as the knowledge gained will help drivers and operators ‘do their bit’.”