Truck­ies ad­vised on ter­ror­ism pre­ven­tion

Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s re­port on ve­hi­cle at­tacks

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIAN truck driv­ers have now been equipped with a how-to guide on avoid­ing ter­ror at­tacks, thanks to the De­part­ment of National Se­cu­rity.

The guide, which was re­leased in con­junc­tion with the Aus­tralia’s Strat­egy for Pro­tect­ing Crowded Places from Ter­ror­ism, lists a num­ber of ways driv­ers can avoid be­ing used as a tool in ve­hi­cle-based at­tacks.

Crowded places such as sta­di­ums, shop­ping cen­tres, pedes­trian malls and ma­jor events were all listed as at­trac­tive targets for ter­ror­ists to carry out ram­ming strikes.

It is a sit­u­a­tion that has un­for­tu­nately be­come all too fa­mil­iar fol­low­ing the 2016 at­tacks in Nice, where ter­ror­ists rented a 19-tonne Re­nault Medium 270 cargo truck to mow down Bastille Day crowds at speeds of more than 90kmh.

The at­tack re­sulted in 86 fa­tal­i­ties and was only stopped when the at­tacker was killed by po­lice.

In Ber­lin, an at­tacker sim­i­larly drove a hi­jacked com­mer­cially-owned Sca­nia R 450 into the crowd at the Christ­mas Mar­kets, re­sult­ing in 12 fa­tal­i­ties and 56 peo­ple in­jured.

For­tu­nately the ve­hi­cle was brought to a stop by its au­to­matic brak­ing sys­tem af­ter trav­el­ling about 50m.

Prime Minister Mal­colm Turn­bull said the guide would pro­vide Aus­tralian truck driv­ers and oper­a­tors with in­for­ma­tion on how to pre­vent sim­i­lar at­tacks and how to re­port sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour.

“We can­not be com­pla­cent about the threats we face but we will never let the ter­ror­ists un­der­mine our way of life or com­pro­mise the free­doms we take for granted,” the PM said.

“Our strat­egy will en­sure Aus­tralians can con­tinue to freely and safely go to the foot­ball, en­joy con­certs and visit shop­ping cen­tres.

“At the same time, the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment has worked with the states and ter­ri­to­ries – through the Trans­port Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee – to de­velop a se­cu­rity aware­ness guide for truck oper­a­tors and driv­ers,” he said.

A sim­i­lar re­port has also been re­leased for venue owners as a guide for pro­tec­tion against hos­tile ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing such things as bol­lards, bar­ri­ers and pedes­trian spa­ces.

Se­cu­rity steps for driv­ers:

■ Lock ve­hi­cles at all times and keep keys safe.

■ Know where your ve­hi­cle is and who has ac­cess.

■ Know your load. Is it se­cure? Is it some­thing of value to ter­ror­ists?

■ Check it reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially when you have been away from your ve­hi­cle.

■ Don’t pick up hitch­hik­ers.

■ Have a se­cu­rity plan so you know what to do if some­thing hap­pens.

■ Check in – con­sider us­ing a re­port­ing sys­tem dur­ing or on com­ple­tion of a job to con­firm the safety of the driver and the lo­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cle.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

VE­HI­CLE AT­TACKS: An ex­cerpt from the Pro­tect­ing Crowded Places from Ter­ror­ism re­port.

The strat­egy is avail­able on the National Se­cu­rity web­site – na­tion­alse­cu­rity.gov.au.

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