Technology, Trucks and Terror

20 Dec by Vitaliy Dadalyan

Technology, Trucks and Terror

As far as terror weapons go, a semi-truck is a pretty good choice – assuming you’re the sort of ill-adjusted fanatic who spends his day trying to dream up ways to kill other human beings, that is. Trucks are big. They’re heavy. They’re hard to stop once they get going. And they’re everywhere. Getting hold of one and deploying it against the millions of “soft targets” around the world is a relatively simple affair: Once you’ve got it, all you have to do is decide whether you want to pack it full of explosives like right-wing terrorist Timothy McVeigh did in his Oklahoma City attack in 1995, or plow through a packed Christmas marketplace as the attacker in Berlin, Germany, did earlier this week, leaving at least 12 people dead.

Reports are sketchy at the time, but the latest news reports indicate the truck was owned by a Polish fleet and apparently hijacked. The driver was reportedly dead in the passenger seat next to the terrorist driver. The fleet reported it had lost contact with the truck prior to the attack.

Terror attacks should never be considered “routine.” But in today’s world they are a fact of life – and one that seems unlikely to get better any time soon. And while I certainly don’t want to side-step the horror still unfolding in Germany (a country I’ve visited many times as a trucking journalist and come to love immensely), nonetheless, if you’re a fleet manager, at some point thinking about the potential for a terrorist attack and coming up with ways to guard against such an attack has to be a high priority.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say the trucks-as-terror-weapons problem isn’t one that can be solved by more regulations, background checks, law enforcement initiatives or even stricter immigration …Read the rest of this story