BATON ROUGE -- DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry announced today that effective July 1, passengers boarding most of the ferries operated by DOTD will be subject to random security searches. The program is being implemented in accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, which was signed by President Bush on November 25, 2002.
Bradberry stated, “These measures, required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are designed to protect our ports and waterways from terrorist attacks.” In compliance with the Act, DOTD prepared and received U.S. Coast Guard approval of its risk assessment and security plan and trained ferry personnel in security procedures. Specific details of the plan cannot be released due to its security-sensitive nature, but both passengers and vehicles are subject to random searches at the following ferry crossings: Plaquemine/Sunshine, White Castle/Carville, St. Francisville/New Roads, Edgard/Reserve, Cameron/Holly Beach, and all of the ferries in New Orleans operated by DOTD's Crescent City Connection Division.
The type of search and the frequency of the searches will be determined by the Maritime Security Level. “We do not,” Bradberry added, “expect the public to be unduly inconvenienced by these searches, and anticipate that passengers will fully cooperate in this important national security effort.” There will be no changes to ferry schedules.