Ohio in July began requiring that commercial truck drivers be trained in how to spot telltale signs of sex trafficking and how to report it. Last week, the Arkansas House approved a bill that would require training for truckers. Kansas, Kentucky and Texas also are considering similar bills. The Kentucky bill goes a step further and would make it a crime for licensed truckers to use their rigs to facilitate trafficking, engage in prostitution or transport minors, Stateline reports. The legislation represents a new attempt by states to enlist the public’s help in combating sex trafficking where it’s likely to occur — at highway truck and rest stops and in hotels and motels — or in hospitals, where victims sometimes end up.
In January, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut announced that state officials, law schools and hotel industry executives would train hotel and motel employees on how to be on the lookout for and report trafficking. In New York, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin introduced a bill this month that would require training for hotel workers. It’s along the lines of a law approved last year that requires New York hospital workers to be on the lookout for victims of trafficking. Educating and enlisting occupations that are likely to witness trafficking only makes sense to lawmakers like Paulin. Victims are often transported across state lines and show up in bus terminals or at truck stops, or they are put to work around truck stops, sports arenas, hotels, motels and convention centers.