Increased security slows traffic at Detroit border crossing

| Friday, March 21, 2003

Traffic between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit has slowed significantly since the U.S. started its attack on Iraq, The Detroit News reported March 21.

While the volume of traffic is down at the bridge, additional security measures are slowing what traffic is there, the newspaper reported. Much of the delay is being caused by a lack of preparation on the part of those crossing the border, and officials were encouraging drivers to bring passports, photo IDs or birth certificates to help speed the process.

Truckdrivers are also seeing longer delays, The News reported, because they are now required to have visas to cross the border into the United States; many of the truckers do not have the documents when they arrive at the Ambassador Bridge.

The slowdown in traffic had been a point of concern before the war began. The British Columbia trucking industry said last week they were worried war in Iraq would cause long delays at border crossings.

Also, Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the U.S. Homeland Security Department, had said in press reports that war would mean "higher and tighter" border security.

"We will still try to facilitate traffic flow and people through the borders, for commerce and trade and visitation," he said. "But we are going to have to remain vigilant and essentially be more alert as to who and what's coming through the borders."

However, The News said the slowdowns were more a result of the orange terrorism alert instituted the evening of March 17 than the war.

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