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June 1, 2012 8:30 AM, EDT

ATA Tells Congress Security Efforts Must Be Risk-Based

Efforts to protect the nation’s transportation system from terrorist attack should promote information sharing between the public and private sectors and focus on areas most at risk, a trucking executive told a Congressional panel.

Testifying on behalf of American Trucking Associations, Phil Byrd told the House subcommittee on transportation security that “it is critical that such resources are dedicated to programs and operations in areas that face a constant heightened level of risk or in sectors where sound intelligence and specific threat analysis indicate a need for increased security.”

Byrd, ATA’s vice chairman and president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C., said security efforts should “encourage” federal agencies to improve information sharing because it is a better alternative to security operations that lack clear goals and objectives and are undertaken without specific intelligence information.

The Thursday hearing was held to assess the Transportation Security Administration’s surface inspection program to determine if its efforts are strengthening security or “squandering scant resources,” panel members said.