U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is focused on commercial vehicle drivers in the fight against human trafficking.
If someone uses a commercial vehicle to commit a human trafficking-related felony, they will not be able to drive commercially for the rest of their life under a new law sponsored by Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
President Donald Trump signed that bill into law last week, along with a second bill the senators introduced. It designates a U.S. Department of Transportation human trafficking prevention coordinator. It also directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to increase education on recognizing, preventing and reporting trafficking.
“Commercial drivers and truckers are often the first line of defense against human trafficking, yet they don’t always have the tools necessary to help prevent these crimes,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “These laws will bring us one step closer to equipping and empowering our drivers to help prevent these heinous crimes we’re seeing too often in Minnesota and around the country.”
Several industry and nonprofit groups supported the laws, including Truckers Against Trafficking and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
This is the latest in a series of trafficking-related rules Klobuchar has worked on. In 2017, she co-authored legislation bolstering programs for survivors of trafficking. She worked on a 2015 law dedicating more law enforcement resources to handle such crimes and using money from fines and penalties to provide services and compensation for victims.