- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Hoping to take advantage of alert eyes along the nation’s highways, the government is trying to enlist more truckers in the battle against terrorism.

The Alexandria-based Highway Watch, started by the American Trucking Associations in 1998 and funded since 2002 with homeland security money, focuses on safety and security.

Spokesman John Willard said the volunteer program has received about $40 million, and “all 50 states have active programs.” He said Highway Watch continues to seek trained members.

“Truck driver normally runs the same route every day. He is used to his surroundings,” said Dave Huneryager, president of the Tennessee Trucking Association. “Something may jump out at him.”

Longtime trucker Ernie Sherrill agrees: “You see a lot of things.”

Besides looking out for potential threats, such as a tanker truck parked for an extended period near a bridge or overpass, volunteers are trained to “avoid becoming a target of terrorists.” One goal is “to prevent terrorists from using large vehicles or hazardous cargoes as weapons,” the organization says.

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