Drivers seeking a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Arkansas will now be required to complete a human trafficking prevention course, according to a new law. Act 922, signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson last month, is expected to go into effect in July.

Under Act 922, drivers have two options to satisfy the new requirement: they can complete a course administered by the state police (or by a third party approved by the state police), or they can become a “Certified Trucker Against Trafficking” by completing an online certification course offered by Truckers Against Trafficking.

Truckers in Arkansas are now required to take a human trafficking prevention course to attain their CDL

Current license holders will have to comply with the requirement when applying for a renewal of their CDLs.

The courses will review the signs of trafficking and who to call when something looks wrong. The Arkansas Trucking Association supported the new law, with Director David O’Neal stating, “Truck drivers are the eyes and ears of the nation.”

As such, the idea behind the law is that truckers can help combat human trafficking when they see something that appears wrong at truck stops or elsewhere.

Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, said, “The fact is that those places that [human traffickers] utilize to pimp or put out the young people are places that are frequented by truck drivers, and 95% of the truck drivers want to do the right thing.”

Truckers Against Trafficking stated, “We are so excited to see how this legislation will bring more awareness to the critical population of professional drivers. More awareness equals more calls, equals more lives recovered out of this horrific reality.”

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