Potential protests pose safety, insurance concerns for truckers
January 13, 2021
•Land Line Staff
The FBI is alerting law enforcement agencies to the threat of planned, armed protests in the capital cities of all 50 states and the District of Columbia ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
In a leaked internal bulletin first reported by ABC News, the nation’s top law enforcement agency warns that protests could begin as soon as Saturday, Jan. 16, and continue through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The FBI reportedly urged police agencies to increase their security presence around capital buildings, following the violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
How truckers can stay safe
The threat of protests and how to safely navigate them are a concern to truckers.
In discussing how drivers could stay safe during the George Floyd protests last year, Doug Morris, OOIDA’s director of safety and security, said the first step for truck drivers is to avoid these areas if possible. If that can’t be avoided, Morris suggested calling the local police beforehand and provide them with the address of pickup or delivery to see if they can provide the safest route or any other assistance.
If a truck driver still comes across a protest or violent situation, Morris said truckers should keep their doors locked and windows rolled up, and they should stay in the truck if at all possible.
Using violence should be a last resort, Morris said.
“If you have a tire checker, and someone jumps on your truck and starts breaking your window, you can use force, if necessary,” he said. “But if you do, you need to be able to demonstrate to a jury that the force was necessary.”
Morris also reminded truck drivers who carry guns to make sure they have current permits for the weapon.
“Make sure your permits are up to date,” he said. “You could get jammed up pretty quickly if you are carrying a gun and the permit is expired. An expired permit means you don’t have a permit.”
Driving through violent areas also could have financial ramifications. While individual policies may vary, many insurance policies carry exemptions for vehicles being operated in an area with a state of emergency declaration or exclusions for riots or civil unrest. LL