ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

ASSE Offers Safety Recommendations For Commercial Vehicles to Reduce Risk of Terrorist Attacks

New York, Jun 13, 2002

Recognizing that terrorist threats are now a reality in American life, President Bush recently proposed the creation of a new cabinet department for domestic defense that is intended to prevent future attacks against the United States and protect the safety of American citizens. The goal in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security is to handle different elements of the country's ability to detect an attack before it happens, or respond to it should prevention fail.

In an effort to aid in the nation's fight against terrorism, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, is addressing commercial vehicle security with the development of three new guides aimed at increasing security for buses and trucks in the event of a crisis, specifically potential terrorist activity.

"These guidelines are important in helping reduce risk in the wake of the increasing terrorism threats and additional commercial vehicle traffic on the road, especially in light of the opening of the U.S. borders to international commercial vehicles this summer," said Diane Hurns, public relations manager for ASSE.

Due to the rise in the amount of hazardous materials being transported throughout the United States, combined with the increase in volume of general threats since September 11, the new guides are designed to teach truck, bus and commercial vehicle operators safety procedures as well as system shutdown protocol in terrorist and crisis situations. The guides, entitled "Providing Secure Bus Operations," "Providing Secure Truck Operations" and "Developing a System Shutdown Protocol," recommend that there must be specific and focused security response plans in place in order to counter various emergency scenarios effectively and immediately. The guides provide safety recommendations for securing and protecting vehicles from terrorist activity, hiring, training, government considerations and facilities that would prevent or minimize attacks. Other suggestions include the implementation of communication check-in systems with point of origination, establishing roles and responsibilities for key personnel, and installation of video cameras and vehicle locator systems (Global Positioning Systems).

The guides are attentive to the fact that although air transportation safety has recently received the most coverage, more attention needs to be focused on securing commercial vehicles and preparation for potential terrorist assaults. While it is impossible to eliminate the use of a truck or bus for terrorist acts, implementing a comprehensive, well-defined safety plan, such as those outlined in these guides, will limit this potential and maximize security for employees, customers, and the general public.

Each guide is available for free on or email or

Standards Portal