Information released this week shows the company was cited for knowingly allowing an employee to drive with a disqualified commercial driver's license and permitting a driver to make a false report regarding his duty status.
It's unclear whether those violations were tied to Bradley, whose commercial driving privileges had been disqualified by Florida for failing to file updated medical information.
But Kimmel’s action showed truckers are fighting back.
Last year it launched the Truckers Against Trafficking app (for Android and Windows) designed to help truckers recognize “trafficking red flags.” Thirty-one state truckers’ associations now partner with TAT.
“What better advocates to take part in the fight against this atrocious criminal activity than trucking and its professional drivers,” said Dale Bennett, head of the Virginia Truckers Association. Walmart Logistics announced plans to train its 7,200 drivers about human trafficking and place trafficking-awareness stickers on all company-owned trucks.
Love’s Travel Stops plans to use a TAT video as part of the training for employees at its more than 300 locations.
Across the country, an estimated 5,000 truck stops offer weary travelers a place to sleep, eat, and shower. A 2013 documentary detailing sex trafficking at truck stops called victims forced to work these areas “lot lizards.” But trucker Kent Kimmel looked past the derogatory labels and saw a young woman who needed help.
Ed Crowell of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association said truckers have to “learn to recognize the signs when we see them and then commit to acting on what we see.” According to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), telltale signs include a victim who doesn’t seem to know her whereabouts, doesn’t have control of her personal identification, and seems tense or exhibits fear, anxiety, or depression.
TAT, headquartered in Englewood, Colo., distributed more than half a million wallet cards in 2014.
According to the Mary Review, trucking is a 95 percent male industry.
Women make up very little of the driving force, which only makes it harder for them to make complaints of harassment and assault, and then have those complaints heard and taken seriously.
Deputies came and interviewed the 20-year-old woman, who told gruesome stories of torture, imprisonment, and forced prostitution at the hands of a man and woman she said kidnapped her in Iowa and transported her to Virginia.
The story’s lurid nature made headlines across the country and pulled back the curtain on the connection between long-haul trucking and human trafficking.
A woman who answered the phone at the company's office in Schaller, a small town in northwest Iowa, declined to comment.