KEEPING DRIVERS SAFE DURING CIVIL UNREST
It is very unfortunate that as we are still dealing with COVID-19 issues, we are reaching out to you on another safety issue, however, this is important as your safety is always our top priority. We know that riots and protests are going on around the country, mostly in the larger metropolitan areas; so, we are working diligently to pass along to you any information and recommendations that we can to help keep you safe in these difficult times. Below are some guidelines and suggestions from the Iowa Motor Truck Association along with multiple sources. The IMTA is currently working with the Iowa State Patrol as well as the Iowa DOT and their ATA affiliates to gather additional information and guidance to ensure Driver safety is at the forefront as the unrest and protesting continues:
AVOIDANCE IS KEY
We do not want you to put yourselves in harms’ way. Many protests and riots are either predictable or planned in advance. When you see masses of people blocking the roadways, STOP. Don’t go any farther. Do whatever is necessary to change direction and get out of the area. If you are alert, you should be able to see these masses of people far enough in advance that you can act before being surrounded.
LOCK DOORS, TURN OFF VENTILATION SYSTEM AND WINDOWS DOWN ½”
It should go without saying that your doors should be locked when driving. If your doors don’t automatically lock, get in the habit of locking them manually as soon as you get inside. Don’t forget to lock the passenger door too. You don’t want the crowd to be able to easily open your door and drag you out. You may not have enough time to do it but cracking your windows and turning off your ventilation system would also be a good idea when driving in areas where crowds may gather. Windows that are down approximately ½” are actually harder to break than windows that are tightly closed. You may also want to turn off the ventilation system, so you don’t get overcome by any smoke or tear gas that is in the air where you are driving.
If you encounter a situation where you could be under attack and/or the road is blocked, remove your seatbelt prior to being attacked. This way you can be prepared to exit the vehicle if you need to make a speedy escape; for instance, your truck is set on fire or overturned. In general, it is safer to stay inside in a crowd, but if the truck is disabled, and under fire attack, get out. It is best to take your chances on foot than to be trapped inside.
BEWARE OF OTHER FORMS OF ROADBLOCKS
We will try to keep you informed of highway closures to avoid encountering protesters that move themselves onto highways. However, the roadblocks designed to make you stop, may not take the form of people. The rioters will steal cars and then purposely abandon them in the middle of roadways. It causes you to stop and also prevents police/fire vehicles from getting to the scene. It’s a common occurrence around the world.
RECORDING DEVICES ON
Make sure recording devices are on. Information recorded could assist law enforcement if anything goes astray, as well as for insurance purposes.
OPERATIONS WILL BE MONITORING D.O.T NOTIFICATIONS AND ALL HIGHWAY/ROAD CLOSURES
We will continue to be in contact with Brenda Neville, President of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, as they are working to gather additional information and guidance to ensure our Driver safety continues to be a top priority.
Please contact your Fleet Manager if you have any questions or concerns and/or to report if you experience any instances of violence, particularly if you can confirm locations. We will then pass along this information to the IMTA so they can alert others.
Thank you and stay “Driven to be the Best”!
DECKER MANAGEMENT TEAM