In a stepped-up security
move requested by California Gov. Gray Davis, all trucks approaching the Golden
Gate Bridge on Sunday and early Monday were stopped and inspected. Officials,
pleased with the success of the inspection blitz, vowed to expand the spot
checks to other Bay Area bridges in a statewide attempt to keep terrorists
The apparently abrupt
decision to set up security checkpoints was approved Sunday morning by Davis,
and quickly put into action in an attempt to catch truckdrivers by surprise.
"We want to keep the trucks and everyone else off guard, so they can't
predict when these inspections will happen," Dwight "Spike"
Helmick, commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, told news reporters.
CHP put up fluorescent
signs directing truck traffic to pull into coned-off areas. Officers checked
driver's licenses and logbooks and inspected truck beds and trailers for hazardous
materials or anything else suspicious.
Bridge and law enforcement
officials insisted the spot checks were not in response to any specific terrorist
threat. Officials said the extra security was part of a statewide vigilance
at major California bridges and structures that began after Sept. 11.
CHP has also assigned
undercover officers in unmarked vehicles, using thermal imaging equipment
and infrared night vision underneath and around the structures, according
to published reports.