FMCSA begins to explore harassment of female, minority truckers

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is planning to conduct a study to gather information on the prevalence of harassment and assaults against minority and female truck drivers.

In an Information Collection Request (ICR) published in the Federal Register Tuesday, July 23, FMCSA requests approval from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct the study.

The agency says it has “accumulated evidence, both documentary and anecdotal, for a serious pattern of harassment- and assault-related crimes against female and minority male truckers.”

In its proposed study, a maximum of 440 female truckers and 440 male minority truckers will be included in the information collection through a combination of in-person interviews and an online survey. To be eligible to participate, drivers must report that they are a female or a minority male who has driven a truck professionally in the past two years. A $25 incentive will be given to eligible respondents who complete the in-person interview or online survey.

The survey will ask whether the drivers have experienced race- or gender-related harassment or crimes on the job. If the driver answers yes, the survey will ask follow-up questions on where and when the incidents occurred, any information the driver knows about the perpetrator and whether the driver reported the incident. The survey will be anonymous, and none of the questions ask for information that could personally identify the respondent, FMCSA says.

FMCSA says it currently does not provide materials or training to truckers on how to protect themselves from being stalked, harassed, assaulted or robbed. In order to develop these materials, the agency says it needs to better understand the prevalence, seriousness and nature of the problem of harassment and assaults against truckers. The frequency and number of harassment- and assault-related crimes occurring, the portion that are unreported and reasons for underreporting are unknown, FMCSA says.

If the study finds a significant problem, FMCSA will consider developing training or outreach materials to help truckers protect themselves from crime or harassment.

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