Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
iENGINEERING

AASHTO Journal

MoDOT Joins Fight against Human Trafficking

The Missouri Department of Transportation is the latest state DOT to join a national effort aimed at eliminating human trafficking in the United States.

As one of the signatories to the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge – an initiative of the U.S. Department of Transportation that involves more than 200 transportation and travel industry stakeholders working to combat human trafficking – MoDOT said in a statement it will "voluntarily commit" to educating employees and raising public awareness of human trafficking issues impacting our state and nation, with agency employees receiving specialized training regarding the "common indicators" of human trafficking and how to report potential cases.

MoDOT noted it's provided education about human trafficking over the years and hopes that by joining this national partnership it can bring additional awareness to the issue.

modot.jpg"We may not think that human trafficking is happening around us, but the truth is, it's happening in cities and small communities all across America," Steve Meystrik, interim director for the agency's motor carrier services division, said in a statement.

He added that those involved in human trafficking are using roadways, railways, waterways and skies. Kansas City, St. Louis, Branson, and locations along the I-44 corridor including Rolla, Springfield and Joplin are the most common locations in Missouri for human trafficking cases to be reported.

On top of that, last year, Missouri had the 16th highest number of human trafficking cases reported of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Meystrik said.

Other state DOTs are providing a range of resources to beef up the fight against human trafficking. Early this month, the Arizona DOT deployed two K-9 teams to help thwart drug smuggling and human trafficking, while in March 2017, PennDOT began training its Driver License Center staff on how to notice signs of potential trafficking situations, as well as arrange training for its transit operators.

"Human trafficking has sadly become a worldwide problem and developed into a $32 billion a year trade," noted PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. "We at PennDOT are doing our part to help spot victims and get them assistance."

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

Recommended Stories

AASHTO Mobile Workshop Explores Spokane’s Bike Infrastructure

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and technology company Iteris organized a three-hour long "mobile workshop" on July 17 during the group's 2018 Joint Policy Committee Meeting in Spokane, Washington, to explore that city's growing bike infrastructure...

July 20, 2018

Oregon DOT Director: “It’s a Brave New World of Change”

Technology is rapidly changing all aspects of public and private sector operations, according to Matthew Garrett, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. And the pace of change is only going to accelerate in the near future, so state DOTs need to ready themselves for both the...

July 20, 2018

RIDOT Releases Initial Tractor-Trailer Tolling Results

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation released key data from the state's tractor-trailer-only tolling program gathered from June 11, when the program began, through July 10. The data included the number of transactions, number of diversions, and receivables from gantry Locations 1 and 2, the...

July 20, 2018

Past Issues

Issue Date: