American Trucking Assns. (ATA) president & CEO William Canary has endorsed the Bush Administration's plans to develop a terrorist warning system for the U.S. and offered to tie ATA programs into it.

Last month, Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge unveiled the Terrorist Information and Prevention System (TIPS), which designates warnings of terrorist threats by five distinct levels from low to severe. Canary said ATA hopes to connect several ATA programs to the TIPS network.

Those ATA programs include Highway Watch, developed in 1998 with FMCSA, which trains truck drivers to recognize and report to designated state law enforcement agencies both emergency situations and suspicious activity.

“We believe the Highway Watch program can be easily and efficiently transformed in a rapid manner to a security program within TIPS,” Canary wrote in a letter to Ridge.

“Enlisting America's 3.1-million professional truck drivers nationwide to serve as the eyes and ears adjunct to law enforcement would have a tremendous impact on efforts to prevent terrorist attacks at home,” Canary said.