The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network
by Sandy Long, on Jun 13, 2016 5:19:00 PM
Women In Trucking members Lee and Kari Fisher are owner operators. Kari is a wife/rider on the truck helping with all aspects of the job except for driving. A few years ago, a friend contacted Kari and told how her husband was missing on the road. Trying to help, Kari looked for anyone who assisted missing drivers’ families … there were none. Seeing a need and having the time available, Kari founded the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network (MTDN) in social media and online.
Kari started developing a network around the country with truck drivers, law enforcement, and truck stops to aid in the search for a missing trucker. When a driver is reported missing, Kari vets the information to make sure it is accurate and then MTDN creates a flyer. Kari and her helpers start posting to her contacts in the area the driver went missing and in every group she is allowed to post in social media to engage truckers in the search effort. Sadly, many drivers are found deceased, though not all. Kari says one of the strangest disappearances was a driver who decided one day to move to the Philippines without telling anyone.
Asked what a driver can do to help their families in the event they go missing, Kari replied with these tips.
- “Make sure your family has a current good quality head shot photo of you.”
- “When you hire on with a company, or change trucks, give your family a photo and identifying information such as VIN (vehicle identification) number, license plate number, company name, and number of your truck and trailer.”
- “Give your family information on your favorite truck stops and rest areas or other places you park.”
“The above will make the search efforts easier,” Kari said.
Furthermore, Kari suggests that a driver have a specific contact person besides family, in case of having no family or if there are disagreements with family that has the above information. It also helps if a driver checks in daily with family or contact person. If a driver is the least bit ill, they need to alert someone and tell them their route, and if they shut down ill, where they are shut down at.
One thing that hinders Kari’s and MTDN’s work is that many have the misconception that in this day and age, everyone has satellite tracking on their trucks so do not search or share the flyers. “This is patently not true,” Kari said. “Many trucks do not have tracking, and it takes a warrant to get information on cell phone locations. Just this year, we had two drivers go missing whose qual comms were not working, one was found deceased, the other was very sick in his truck.”
Roughly seventeen drivers have gone missing and families have approached MTDN for assistance so far this year, two just this last week. That is seventeen families worried and perhaps grieving. Getting the Missing Truck Driver Network involved does not cost families, companies, or friends anything to avail themselves of their services. Kari and her helpers provide this service for free and out of a love for the trucking industry. If you need MTDN’s services, or want to get involved in their search efforts and in spreading the word, you can find them at Facebook’s Missing Truck Driver Alert Network; for missing drivers in Canada, Missing Truck Drivers Alert Network of Canada or online at Missing Truck Driver Alert Network.