Monday, May 03, 2010

As if cars weren't already deadly enough

Maybe this will spur some action. If only traveling by car could be made as thoroughly secure as air travel. In light of this bomb threat, it seems natural to ban containers of liquid over 100 ml from anything larger than a motorcycle. Next, all cars could be banned from Times Square.

Or, is it safer to simply require a lengthy check for anyone getting into a car? For example, if you drive to work at 8 am everyday, you might want to get to the driveway at 6 to allow enough time for security procedures. Panicking paranoiacs want to know. Please inform.

To prove I'm not a crank, James Fallows picks up my train of thought:

How would [the TSA] respond to this weekend's Times Square bomb threat? Well, by extrapolation from its response to the 9/11 attacks and subsequent threats, the policy would be:

- All vans or SUVs headed into Midtown Manhattan would have to stop and have their contents inspected. If any vehicle seemed for any reason to have escaped inspection, Midtown in its entirety would be evacuated;

- A whole new uniformed force -- the Times Square Security Administration, or TsSA - would be formed for this purpose;

- The restrictions would never be lifted and the TsSA would have permanent life, because the political incentives here work only one way. A politician who supports more open-ended, more thorough, more intrusive, more expensive inspections can never be proven "wrong." The absence of attacks shows that his measures have "worked"; and a new attack shows that inspections must go further still.

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