How worried are you about the terrorist threat?
Does the thought of your wagon being hijacked or stolen by a fanatic with murderous intent fill you with a sense of immediate fear?
Apparently, for 76% of commercial drivers, the threat is severe enough to warrant training in counter-terrorism techniques.
The same survey showed that 74% of drivers had been offered little or no training in protecting their vehicle from would-be terrorists.
This indicates a dismissive attitude on the part of operators, who are perhaps unwilling to shell out for training for the kind of scenario that seems to happen only in newspapers. And no one's denying that times aren't tough, and likely to get tougher, for hauliers. Who but the biggest of operators has the cash to throw at such luxuries as Contingency Plans for Highly Unlikely Events?
But let's not pretend the threat is all that remote. The survey, conducted by Fleet Source, also showed that over 50% of commercial drivers were shocked at the increase in Vehicle-as-a-Weapon (VaaW) attacks over the past year and a half.
The study comes off the back of the announcement that FORS is rolling out online training in security and counter-terrorism. Drivers working for FORS-accredited firms will therefore have access to cutting-edge guidance, accessible directly from their PC.
As is becoming increasingly the case, the non-accredited are left behind by their Members' Clubbed-up competitors.
Nick Caesari, M.D. of Fleet Source, commented:
“Following the recent major VAAW (Vehicle as a Weapon) incidents and with the UK being on a severe level of terrorist alert, we wanted to look at the industry’s views and opinions on the subject."
“These incidents are very real, and the industry should be doing all they can to prevent drivers from being involved in these horrific events.”
However, is it solely the responsibility of operators? You'd think that, given the recent horn-locking between the road haulage sector and the Government, that it'd be a wise move on Gov's part to display solidarity with the drivers and hauliers it seems to have worked so hard to make miserable. After all, terrorism is a national threat, and must be tackled on a national level.
Counter-terrorist measures, therefore, must issue from the State. FORS, of course, began life as part of Transport for London.
Do three in four commercial drivers really have to rely on the Government to cure their fears? Mr. Caesari seems to reckon as much:
“The research suggests drivers feel that authorities are not taking responsibility for the safety of the transport industry when it comes to the danger of terrorism."
Fleet Source, for its part, has launched its own counter-terrorism training course.
How do you think the terrorist threat should be addressed? Do you see it as an impending danger, or is it blown out of proportion?
Or do you think it's only a matter of time before counter-terrorism techniques are taught as part of Driver CPC?
I know, I know - more things to worry about. I hate to turn this blog into a bullhorn that screams worse and worse news. But it's not all hellish gloom...
There's something to be said for reassuring simplicity. That's why our resident Drivers' Hours Expert, Chris Allen, is giving a short series of webinars. What's the topic? Anything and everything road haulage. 'Ask Chris' offers you the chance to ask those questions you've always wanted to, but have never had the opportunity. Or maybe you have asked them, but have never received a straight answer. Anyway, that's enough from me. If you want your questions answered, hit the button: