Truckies advised on terrorism prevention
Federal Government’s report on vehicle attacks
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.
VEHICLE ATTACKS: An excerpt from the Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism report.
The strategy is available on the National Security website – nationalsecurity.gov.au.