ATA Announces 2023 Law Enforcement Advisory Board Members
[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]
American Trucking Associations has unveiled its 2023 Law Enforcement Advisory Board, a panel first formed in 2021 to tackle a variety of mutual issues and strengthen relationships between trucking and law enforcement organizations nationwide.
The board is composed of ATA members who have extensive experience in federal, state and local law enforcement, and current and retired law enforcement officials.
The advisory board has 38 members with total collective law enforcement experience totaling more than 900 years. ATA members on the board have served in a variety of law enforcement roles, from small town police forces and state patrols to federal transportation agencies and drug task forces.
Fred Fakkema, vice president of safety and compliance for Zonar Systems, will continue as the board’s chairman. Prior to joining Zonar, Fakkema served 25 years in the Washington State Patrol.
Fakkema said the group has worked on a number of issues that touch both the trucking industry and law enforcement.
But many nettlesome challenges don’t seem to go away quickly. With only 313,000 parking spots for truckers, only one in 11 drivers can find a spot to park, requiring others to park on interstate shoulders, entrance and exit ramps — or even on retail store lots.
“Last year, we helped advance the ball on truck parking through outreach to state departments of transportation across the country, alerting them to the federal funds available to build out capacity,” Fakkema said. “That issue, in addition to others like human trafficking, aggressive and distracted driving, and marijuana legalization, remain our top focuses in the year ahead.”
Fakkema said truck parking is not only an issue of driver health and wellness, but also an issue for the supply chain and motorist safety.
Prior to the formation of the board in 2021, there were no groups that brought truckers and law enforcement working together. “Who better to work on the issues than those on the roadways together all the time,” Fakkema said.
Steve Keppler, co-director at Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, said the board has been divided into a number of working groups that range from such issues as distracted driving and safety to security and human trafficking.
“We’ve done a lot of presentations to different groups to talk about our priorities,” said Keppler, a board member. “We’ve written articles in publications, written letters to Congress, trying to get to areas where there are challenges that we can bring our expertise to the table. We really want to use the group as a resource.”
The group also acts as an asset to ATA on policy issues, Keppler said.
Of course, cops and truckers don’t always see eye to eye, but they are united in their quest for highway safety, and both play a role on and off the interstates.
“Part of the challenges in the real world are when drivers and enforcement encounter each other sometimes there can be issues for different reasons,” said Keppler, former executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. “We’re all working toward the same goal, it’s just through a different lens. We all want to get home to our families safe at night. Yes, we all have compliance to manage, but it’s really about trying to enhance those relationships.”
Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: