Trucking companies and experts have expressed their concerns following the “defund the police” movement in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd on May 25.
Many truckers have been fearful of their safety and what might happen if there are no police departments in the city. Truckers have been on the front lines the last few months, in both the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic and the protests over police brutality.
On Friday, Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a veto-proof resolution to pursue replacing its police department with a “community-led public safety system.”
In other parts of the country, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said they intend to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars budgeted for local police departments into social and community programs.
Trucking industry stakeholders have been following development to see how far these policies will go, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported.
Trucking expert Dan Doran indicated “truckers and trucking companies will be quick to refuse service to these areas if trouble arises.”
“Truckers were already getting nervous about all these protests before they even started talking about defunding the police,” Doran told TNN.
Doran has been working in the transportation service for over 40 years and was chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) in 2018. He said that companies in certain areas that want to receive their load safely will likely be forced to “beef up security.”
“A good customer may tell a good carrier that they’ll provide them some security to get them into the city limits… some kind of an escort,” Doran said. “I think any reputable carrier is going to listen to that concern and take steps to help the driver become more comfortable going in there,” he added.
Darren Yancy, a commercial insurance consultant, told TNN the defunding of police could increase potential risks from crime, such as theft and fires, and transportation companies could consider increasing insurance costs.
Yancy added that the possible dangers to both the load and truckers, and the associated increase in costs, will force companies to choose whether or not to deliver to those areas.
Truckers Voicing Their Concerns
Truck driving has been ranked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In 2018, the department reported it as the most deadly job. Records show there were a total of 5,250 fatal work injuries nationwide in 2018, a 2 percent increase from 5,147 in 2017.
Truck drivers have been expressing their concerns via messages to the recent CDLLife poll, with one trucker writing “no cops, no trucks.”
“Why would I wanna risk my life even more than I already do… the cops are out to protect us and everyone else’s bad enough, drivers are already being shot at as it is,” a concerned truck driver wrote.
“Take away the cops and I could die and if I have my kid or family member with me when I’m there they could die. Not risking my life for these [expletive], let the shelves go empty in these defunded areas,” he added.
“I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matters and I do this for my family,” a trucker stated. “We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal, or even using a restroom.”
“If something was to happen and you have to take matters into your own hands, and then you risk being prosecuted for protecting yourself,” another trucker wrote via the mobile application.
“For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads, I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments,” another message reads.