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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In an effort to help raise awareness about human trafficking along America's roadways, Pilot Flying J is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to expand education for its employees and outreach to its customers.
"The Pilot Flying J family, made up of our employees, our customers, our vendors and other business partners, has the opportunity to help shut down human trafficking along our nation's highways," said Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam. "Our associates, professional drivers and the motoring public can take a stand by keeping our eyes and ears open for trafficking red flags. And, with one simple phone call, we can help keep our roadways safe and free of crime and, most importantly, save lives."
Pilot Flying J has posted information from TAT in its more than 550 travel centers and travel plazas across the United States. The posters provide the National Hotline number that individuals should call to provide an anonymous tip if they witness or suspect human trafficking.
Professional drivers are encouraged to pick up a TAT wallet card at Pilot Flying J locations, which along with the National Hotline number, provides an e-mail contact, tips on trafficking red flags and specific information to provide to law enforcement with each tip.
Pilot Flying J also now includes general training about human trafficking and TAT resources to all company employees. Among the red flags to watch for are people exhibiting: lack of knowledge of their community or whereabouts; lack of control of own identification documents (ID/passport); and restricted or controlled communication (not being allowed to speak for themselves).
The timing of Pilot Flying J's plans to utilize TAT training materials coincides with recent legislation in Tennessee, the company's home state, aimed at stopping human trafficking. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot Flying J supports the state law ratified in June that requires certain businesses, including travel centers and travel plazas, to post a sign with information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.
"We're very proud to support the work of Truckers Against Trafficking and do our part to help," Haslam said. "The trucking industry is a family of caring individuals, and together we're millions of people who can be part of the solution to a devastating problem."
Human trafficking, a term for modern-day slavery, is a $32-billion worldwide industry with more than 27 million people enslaved in the world today. In the United States, it has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.
Pilot Flying J is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America.