A new Colorado law will require CDL applicants in the state to take a course on human trafficking before receiving a license. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation
Truck drivers in the Mile High State are being enlisted in the war against human trafficking. A new law passed by the Colorado legislature will require applicants for commercial drivers licenses in the state to go through a course educating them on how to spot signs of human traffickers and their victims.
According a report in the Denver Post, lawmakers and advocacy groups hope that, with more trained eyes on the road, law enforcement will have a helping hand in stopping sex and labor trafficking.
“It just heightens awareness, and it shows you how you can be part of the solution,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, one of the bill’s sponsors.
Drivers have long been considered a key force in combatting human trafficking, and the Denver office pf Truckers Against Trafficking has fully supported the bill as it became law. “We have come to recognize that it’s a useful tool if wielded well,” Kendis Paris, who heads the Denver-based Truckers Against Trafficking, told the Post. “It’s turning bystanders into a disruptive force, in essence.”
Truckers Against Trafficking says that since its start in 2009, there have been nearly 2,000 trucker calls to a national human-trafficking hotline, shedding light on about 545 likely cases of human trafficking involving more than 1,000 victims. The advocacy group has trained nearly a half-million people.
“It’s my understanding that the majority of sex-trafficking cases and labor-trafficking cases are identified by members of the public,” said state Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora, who co-sponsored the legislation. “And those members of the public include truckers. Truckers tend to be at places where people come in and out of — motels, truck stops and gas stations. They