Security is tightening up around
the nation’s capital in preparation for the second inauguration of President
George W. Bush Jan. 20.
While most of the security
arrangements will not affect the majority of truck traffic, some of the
measures could have an impact on truckers who drive or deliver within
“We will have 24-7 surveillance of key inaugural facilities,
as well as portable X-ray equipment to examine packages, as well as commercial
vehicles and delivery trucks entering these areas,” Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge said recently. “We anticipate there will be about 6,000
law-enforcement personnel here from dozens of federal, state and local
agencies. We will utilize record numbers of canine bomb teams.”
Jonathan Cherry – a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which is leading the
security efforts for the Inauguration – said most road closings linked to the
event are in the downtown area of Washington, DC, and should affect only those
trucks that must pick up or deliver in that part of the city.
The Special Operations Division of the Metropolitan
Police Department has a list of road closings in the area on its Web site at http://mpdc.dc.gov/news/news.asp?sid=3026.
Officer Quintin Peterson of the
Metropolitan Police said that if trucks were able to avoid the DC area
entirely, that would be the best course of action. Those truckers who remain
outside the Beltway should not have to deal with security surrounding the event
in any way, Peterson said.
If truckers must go inside the
district – for example, to make a regular delivery or to deliver supplies
related to the inaugural activities – “they have to have an invoice showing
what they’re delivering, where they’re delivering it to just to show they have
a legitimate reason for being within the controlled area,” Peterson said.
People who work in the restricted
area are being allowed into the secure zone for regular work activities, he
– By Mark H. Reddig, associate