If you thought you could avoid intrusive encounters with the Transportation Security Administration by simply avoiding the airport, you’re wrong. The agency is seeking permission to expand its reach to highways and other transportation hubs throughout the Nation.
The TSA is currently seeking permission from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct “security-related assessments” of about 750 long-haul trucking operators as well as 140 public transportation agencies.
Under an initiative dubbed the Highway Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program, the TSA will work to find ways to “fill security gaps” related to transportation on American highways and interstates.
The agency states in a Federal notice:
TSA’s Highway BASE program seeks to establish the current state of security gaps and implemented countermeasures throughout the highway mode of transportation by posing questions to major transportation asset owners and operators. Data and results collected through the Highway BASE program will inform TSA’s policy and program initiatives and allow TSA to provide focused resources and tools to enhance the overall security posture within the surface transportation community.
The TSA has already taken measures to set up airport-style checkpoints at a number of rail stations and last year examined trucks and buses on Tennessee highways.