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Programs and Initiatives

Highway Motor Carrier Branch

Highway Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (HWY BASE)

Highway Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement is a voluntary, risk-based program designed to identify security vulnerabilities within the various highway transportation modes and, in turn, offer mitigation options for reducing those vulnerabilities.  A HWY BASE begins with a site visit to the transportation stakeholder to review their security practices, followed by the assignment of an overall risk “score,” and concludes with recommended options for consideration designed to mitigate any vulnerabilities identified.  HWY BASE is designed to assess the overall security posture of the four (4) highway transportation sub-modes: trucking (non-hazmat), motorcoach, school bus, and highway critical infrastructure.

The companies and facilities selected for inclusion in the HWY BASE program were identified by the Surface Division using a risk-based methodology.  HWY BASE assessments focus on larger companies that represent the largest portion of each of their respective transportation industries.  HWY BASE reviews are conducted by Surface Transportation Security Inspectors assigned to the Office of Security Operations (OSO).  Surface Inspectors visit participating companies and facilities across the U.S., ask a series of questions, review security documents, and take a tour of the facilities.

TSA inspectors will review various aspects of the company’s security practices based on twenty-three (23)  recommended “Security Action Items” (SAIs) developed by TSA, in concert with our industry partners.  The SAIs addresses personnel security, facility security, vehicle security, and security management practices.   Participating companies are provided with an overall “Risk Score” (between 0% and 100%) as well as an Executive Summary outlining their security strengths and weaknesses.   Companies are also provided with a “Mitigation Priorities” report, in which identified vulnerabilities are presented in a rank order for criticality.  Revisits to the participating companies are conducted by Transportation Security Inspectors anywhere from one to three years after the initial assessment, depending on the company’s risk score.  Data collected through the HWY BASE program is analyzed by the Surface Division to identify common security vulnerabilities within the companies participating.  Informed decisions on new strategies and deployment of limited resources can then be made using this and other data to address ways to drive down risk within the highway transportation sector.

Companies/Facilities/School Districts wishing to schedule a TSA HWY BASE review should send their request to the Highway Security Mailbox at highwaysecurity@dhs.gov.

Transportation Security Template and Assessment Review Toolkit (T-START)

The “Transportation Security Template and Assessment Review Toolkit (T-START)” is a Security Guidance Tool composed of three (3) separate Modules: 1) “Security Awareness Guide”, 2) “Vulnerability Self-Assessment Template”, and 3) Security Plan Template.  The guide was prepared by TSA’s Surface Division to address a variety of highway transportation security issues. The Modules are designed to assist companies/operators in developing effective security practices and in the construction of a Security Plan.  This toolkit also has application to political subdivisions or governmental entities having ownership or control over large-scale motorcoach, trucking, or student transportation operations.  For more information or a copy of T-START, contact TSA by email at highwaysecurity@dhs.gov.

School Transportation Security Awareness (STSA)

The "School Transportation Security Awareness" (STSA) program was developed by TSA in conjunction with the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), and the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) to provide much needed security awareness information and training to the school transportation industry. STSA focuses on terrorist and criminal threats to school buses, bus passengers, and destination facilities. It is designed to provide school bus drivers, administrators, and staff members with information that will enable them to effectively identify and report perceived security threats, as well as the skills to appropriately react and respond to a security incident if one should occur.

The STSA program consists of a 24-minute DVD of a simulated school bus hijacking and web-based self-study modules offered in both English and Spanish. The program has been designed so that the information can be obtained in a classroom setting or by individual self-guided study on-line. Once registration has been completed, an ID code is assigned, and each member of the registered district/ organization is then able to access the on-line training at any time.

The School Transportation Security Awareness, or STSA, program was developed by us in conjunction with the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, the National Association of Pupil Transportation and the National School Transportation Association to provide much needed security awareness information and training to the school transportation industry. STSA focuses on terrorist and criminal threats to school buses, bus passengers and destination facilities. It is designed to provide school bus drivers, administrators, and staff members with information that will enable them to effectively identify and report perceived security threats, as well as the skills to appropriately react and respond to a security incident should it occur.

STSA topics include:

  • Terrorism Defined
  • Who Are Terrorists?
  • Define And Identify A Security Threat
  • Define And Identify A Security Incident
  • Potential Weapons And The Probability Of Use
  • Joint Planning Between Organizations
  • Leadership Begins At The Top

School Transportation Security Awareness Video in English

School Transportation Security Awareness Video with Spanish Subtitles

The STSA program consists of a 24-minute DVD of a simulated school bus hijacking and Web-based, self-study modules offered in both English and Spanish. The program was designed so the information can be obtained in a classroom setting or by individual self-guided study on-line. Although the DVD contains valuable information in its own right, it is intended to augment the on-line training modules. That online training program, we regret, is currently unavailable while modifications are being made to the web site, but you may still order the DVD via e-mail by writing to highwaysecurity@dhs.gov. Please include your name, organization/school district, mailing address, phone number and the number of DVD's you request and the language you prefer (English or Spanish). You should receive your order in seven to ten days.

We offer STSA at no cost to any school division and school transportation entity that requests it. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you in enhancing school transportation security.

Hazmat Motor Carrier Security Self-Assessment Training Program

TSA is developing a self-assessment tool for small and medium carriers of hazardous materials to review their security Plan issued under Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49 – Transportation, Part 172 – Hazardous Materials Table, Special Provisions, Hazardous Materials Communications, Emergency Response Information, Training Requirements, and Special Plans, Subpart I – Safety and Security Plans, .800 - Purpose and applicability (49 CFR 172.800) including assessing security operations. This pilot project will include field-testing of various training tools including CDs and other interactive tools. 

For more information on hazmat Self-Assessment training please contact the TSA Highway and Motor Carrier staff at highwaysecurity@tsa.dhs.gov.

Security Awareness Materials

The first security awareness brochures, tip cards, and posters published and distributed to private surface modal stakeholders are related to the Highway mode. These security awareness materials cover information such as Identifying Threats and Incidents, Recommended Procedures for Employees, Monitoring Suspicious Activities & Items, Surrounding Awareness, Collecting Information, & Responding to an Incident.  To request any of these materials, please email highwaysecurity@tsa.dhs.gov.

Latest revision: 20 August 2014