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What your car undergoes at the border

SURREY (NEWS1130) – Have you ever wondered what exactly your car is being scanned for as you cross into the US?  Quite a bit of technology, like radon scans and X-rays, have been added at our main crossings since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

If you’ve got something in you car that you probably shouldn’t, chances are the guards will find it.  Mike Milne with US Border and Customs says the gamma reader you pass through gives a thorough X-ray in case of contraband or people trying to sneak into the States.

Then there’s the radiation monitor.

“Those yellow statues you may see as you pass through the primary processing areas at our ports.  Those are basically reading any kind of radiation signature.  They are even so sensitive they may read you if you have had a recent medical procedure.  And those are designed to identify anything that could be used as a weapon of mass effect.”

It’s not just your car that’s being examined, there is also that handy license plate reader.

Crossing the border easily

Despite many long line-ups at the border this long weekend there are some ways to get across without too much of a hassle.  The easiest way is to make sure you have your passport and any documents handy.

Erin Steeksma with the Canadian Border Services Agency says a big problem is drivers getting into the wrong line-up, case and point a non-Nexus member in a Nexus lane.

“When they try to cut back into the regular lane a lot of people won’t let them in because they think they’re trying to budge.  If you’re not a Nexus member and you come through the Nexus lane we cannot process you.”

She adds if you want to save time you should consider becoming part of the Nexus program, just make sure you look where you’re going.

When crossing, you’re also asked to turn off your cell phone when approaching the booth.  And make sure when you’re coming back you have declare all goods.

“There are no exemptions for same-day travel, so all the goods you bring through are subject to duties and taxes.”