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Oct. 18, 2001

DPS Begins Hazmat Security Effort

A joint effort by state and federal officials to educate hazardous material carriers about security issues is now underway.

The new initiative was developed at the request of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. DPS License and Weight personnel, along with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representatives, will make on-site visits to more than 1,900 Texas shipping and trucking companies that transport various hazardous materials on Texas roadways. The program is not based on a specific threat, but is an ongoing effort to bolster security awareness.

"We are trying to raise the security consciousness of all Texas hazardous material carriers because of increased concerns about terrorism," said DPS Director Col. Thomas Davis Jr. "We know carriers are already taking a variety of steps on their own and we want to make sure that they have the best and latest information."

During the on-site visits, specific information will be provided to motor carrier officials to help them address security issues. Companies are being asked to review the security of their storage procedures and security measures taken during the transportation of such materials. Authorities will also suggest a detailed examination of personnel security by reviewing driver files and ensuring that background checks have been performed as required by federal regulations.

Companies will be reminded to be alert for suspicious behavior by drivers, shippers, vendors or the public and immediately report such activity to authorities. The DPS also is urging that any thefts or missing materials be immediately reported to DPS or other law enforcement authorities.

In addition, DPS personnel continue to perform random roadside truck inspections with a heightened sense of awareness for suspicious activity that may indicate the possibility of terrorist or other criminal activity.

Note to editor: More information on this effort is also available on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Web site,

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hazmatsecure.htm.