"States are working together to find ways to enhance the security of our vital transportation assets," said Dave Ekern, director of the Idaho Transportation Department and chairman of AASHTO's special committee on security. "The committee has developed guides on vulnerability assessment, risk management and emergency response which we believe will be useful resources."
Ekern's comments came in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks on London subways and a double-decker bus that claimed the lives of more than 50 people and injured several hundred others. Security precautions on the U.S. mass transit system were elevated to level orange following the attacks.
The special AASHTO committee held its second annual meeting in June, with Ekern providing a videotaped address calling for urgent action to help the nation's departments of transportation prepare for security challenges – a message underscored by the attacks on London's public transportation systems.
The committee, which was elevated from a task force in 2004, is AASHTO's primary voice advocating a secure transportation system across all modes and providing resources to state transportation departments.
To date, committee activities have focused on advancing research, advocacy, training and information sharing. Two existing research products are especially relevant in light of the London attacks:
Both products are available from NCHRP. More information on the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's 20-59 security research products is available at: http://www4.trb.org/trb/crp.nsf/All+Projects/NCHRP+20-59