COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Truck drivers are now joining in the fight to stop human trafficking.
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association recently kicked off a campaign called Truckers against Trafficking to fight what many call modern day slavery: the practice of selling women and children for sex.
The goal of the campaign is for truck drivers to keep an eye out on the roads and at truck stops for any signs of human trafficking, and a toll free number was set up to make reporting easy.
The FBI says it investigates hundreds of cases across the country each year, and such business is often conducted at truck stops.
“Truck stops and rest stops would not just be an unfriendly place to sell victims but hopefully we’ll be able to rescue victims all along the way and capture and prosecute traffickers who are selling them,” said campaign spokeswoman Kendis Paris.
Paris said truckers should be able to a lot to help stop the problem because they “are the eyes and ears of this nation’s highways.”
“They are the ones traveling up and down the roads. They are at the rest stops and truck stops. They are the ones who will get the knock on the door late at night,” she said.
Indiana resident Norm Meredith is one of many truckers who has had to deal with the problem in his career.
“In the early years you hardly got through a night without someone banging on your door and waking you up,” he told CBS4 in Commerce City at a truck stop on Monday.
Meredith’s wife Linda has driven his tractor trailer with him since 1986. She said she’s seen several underage girls soliciting sex.
“I had a lady knock on our door. She kind of stammered because she thought I’d be a man. And I was a woman. Then she wanted to know if I had seen her lost dog,” she said.
The Merediths are among the truckers who have placed stickers on their driver’s side windows discouraging any prostitutes who might approach their trucks. They say they are all for the program.
“There are enough truckers where if they banded together they could do just about anything in this country,” Meredith said.