(Indianapolis, IN) - The Indiana House of Representatives today approved a bill calling on truck drivers to help reduce human trafficking in the state. The measure, co-authored by State Rep. Jim Pressel of Rolling Prairie, moves to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.
"Our state is continuing its fight against this heinous crime. This is an opportunity for professional drivers of all types to also help our efforts and take a stand against human trafficking," he said.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, sex trafficking often happens at truck stops and is commonly advertised online or through citizens band radio.
Pressel, chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, said the bill would ensure new truck drivers are trained on how to recognize, report and prevent human trafficking. Drivers can encounter the criminal activity at rest areas and truck stops due to their remote locations beside major roads.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, there are 17 rest area locations and 28 separate rest area facilities on Indiana's interstate highways, including one in Michigan City and two in Rolling Prairie. If enacted, Indiana would join 12 other states with similar laws, including Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois.