Economist: TSA screenings will kill Americans on highways

By admin
Sunday, November 21, 2010 10:49 EDT
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The TSA’s intrusive new screenings will result in more deaths on highways, says an economist with St. Lawrence University in New York state.

Steven Horwitz says the TSA’s options of a full body scan or an intimate pat-down will prompt more people to drive this holiday season. That will mean heavier traffic and — because driving is more dangerous than flying — higher casualties.

The Hill reports:

“Driving is much more dangerous than flying, as you are far more likely to be killed in an automobile accident mile-for-mile than you are in an airplane,” said Horwitz. “The result will be that the new TSA procedures will kill more Americans on the highway.”

Activists opposed to the TSA’s measures are calling for a “national opt-out day” on Nov. 24, to protest the new screening measures, a move that itself could increase airport delays and prompt even more people to opt out of flying altogether. The Associated Press reports:

“Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays,” said Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents, which has warned its more than 8,000 members about delays resulting from the body-scanner boycott.

It doesn’t take much to mess things up anyway — especially if someone purposely tries to mess it up.”

Body scans take as little as 10 seconds, but people who decline the process must submit to a full pat-down, which takes much longer. That could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

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