Federal government cracks down on commercial drivers convicted of human trafficking

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) The U.S. Department of Transportation announced commercial drivers convicted of human trafficking will be permanently banned from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

In a press release on Monday, government officials said in some cases traffickers use commercial trucks or buses to carry out the criminal behavior. Human trafficking survivor Theresa Flores said trafficking involving commercial vehicles is a problem, "We know that a lot of times these victims are being transported by trucks, by semi-trucks from one location to another location."

Flores now works as a victim’s advocate and author. She said the trafficking is visible around the trucking industry and said everyone has a role in stopping the problem, "If you see something and you have that gut feeling like this just doesn't look right, it's probably not right."

Organizations such as Truckers Against Trafficking train drivers on how to spot human trafficking and what to do. More information on warning signs to look out for can be found on TAT’s website. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 219 cases were reported in Ohio in 2018, the fourth highest in the country.

People who see signs of trafficking are urged to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.