TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, announced its first “Citizen Driver” award program designed to recognize professional drivers who evoke public respect for the truck driving profession. The program was launched last week at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

 Nominees for the Citizen Driver award will be judged on factors including demonstrated, exemplary citizenship in the driving community and otherwise, driving safety record, community involvement, leadership and healthy lifestyle.

“We are extremely proud to play a role in support of the companies and drivers that make up the great truck driving industry,” Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters, said. “Our customers log millions of miles each year and move the freight that keeps the U.S. economy going. We do our best to provide them with unparalleled hospitality, customer service and tools they need to be successful in their businesses, because they deserve it. Our ‘Citizen Driver’ award is a way to recognize the best of the best, not just for being good at their jobs, but for being good people that everyone, everywhere, both inside and outside of trucking, can admire and respect. A ‘Citizen Driver’ is intended to be someone the whole trucking industry is proud to be associated with, and whose stories should be heard by their peers and those outside the industry.”

Anyone can nominate a professional driver for the “Citizen Driver” award and TravelCenters expects to invite trucking industry organizations to provide judges of submitted nominations. “Citizen Drivers” will be honored at a special event in Louisville next year during the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show, and each will have their favorite TA or Petro travel center named after them. Additional prizes will be awarded to nominees and finalists.

Nomination form, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro websites in April 2013.

Nominations will be accepted throughout 2013 and the winner or winners will be announced in March 2014.