There’s no doubt to say transportation modes on land are playing key role in complementing other modes of transport such as air transport, sea/water transport or pipeline transport and as well as boosting the economic growth of any given nation.Overland transport modes are majorly road and railway transportations and both are fully operated on land and in case of emergency, they play important role in mass evacuation of people and goods. For instance, if there’s natural disaster or threat in an area overland transport can be used for rapid mass evacuation of people and goods.
However, because of the importance of this two land transportation modes to a nation and their various users, there’s need for government and freight industries to improve the freight security and efficiency of overland transports in many ways such as road transport, rail transport, traffic management, track maintenance, mobility, level crossing safety measures to mention but a few.
One of the major problems among others facing rail and road transportation is security, this is because the two transport modes are commonly used as tools by criminals to carry out their evil works. This explains the need for innovative security services relating to both road and rail transportation that will enable their operations safer for various users. It’s important to know that the two transport modes are the major easy target for criminals like kidnapper, terrorist, armed robbers and so on.
Due to increase in this menace the Transport Security Administration (TSA) has warned both transport and freight industries against terrorists hijacking trucks and driving to the crowd to cause weapon of mass destruction.
For instance, The Transport Security Administration reveals that within 3 years vehicles were hijacked and used in 17 times to kill 173 people while 665 people were injured.
Likewise, in Nice, France, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhel drove a tractor trailer into a gathering celebrating Bastille Day, killing 87 people including children and injured more than 400 people.
In March 29, 2010, there was “A double suicide bombing at Lubyanka and Park kultury stations of the Moscow Metro killing 40 people while 102 people were injured.” Source: Wikipedia.
Likewise, on March 22, 2016, in Belgium, there was suicide bomb attack at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels which caused the death of 20 people and 200 people were injured. Source: Wikipedia.
Having read the above data you will note that overland transport modes are commonly used by the criminals hence, the need to increase focus on land transportation security such as surveillance on road and railways becomes inevitable.
Another reason for physical security in overland transportations is that they are mostly used for illegal transactions across the borders such as illegal drugs, weapons, piracy, illegal immigration and so on.Bus and rail terminals are locations where passengers and freights are assembled in large number for immediate transportation and at such places safety and physical and freight security should be a major concern for transport and freight industries. Why? It’s because stealing or thefts is one of the common problems at terminal and it may also be seen as potential target for terrorist attack.
Strong security in overland transportation has huge benefits to a nation such benefits include the followings:
- It will truncate the unwanted transportation operations of illegal weapons and suspicious people that may cause insecurity or any other form of security threats thereby, boosting the commerce and industrial activities.
- It will also reduce stealing or theft at terminal as well as reducing diversion of goods thereby, eliminating the direct losses thereafter.
- It will also reduce illegal transportation of all sorts of contraband goods such as counterfeit products, narcotics or marijuana, weapons, hazardous materials e.g. chemical that can cause death if inhaled, to mention but a few.
- It makes it difficult if not impossible for people to evade taxes and duties.
- It will also reduce the illegal immigration of people into the country.
To this end, it is important to note that weak security in overland transport system can lead to overall national insecurity. Individual group or person may be motivated to attack any of these overland transports thereby terrorizing and injuring innocent users as well as causing disruption in economic growth.
These among others explain why we must not afford to neglect overland transport security, strong security out-fit must be put in place in both bus and railway terminals and better still, adequate passenger and freight security is a sign of qualitative transport services to the public.