Mexico-USA border gets 'Z-portal' X-ray machines
22 October 2008

Massive X-ray machines capable of scanning an entire car have been introduced at the San Ysidro border crossing between the United States and Mexico, the world’s busiest land border crossing.The low-radiation machines can show up people and objects hidden in the car, reducing both waiting time at the border and the quantities of contraband smuggled across it. Since being energised last week, the new machines have already helped US border guards to seize more than 1.3 tonnes of drugs.The new machines are described as looking like car washes, and are officially dubbed ‘Z-portals’. Each one can scan around 120 passenger vehicles an hour. The manufacturer of the portal says that it will take more than 2000 trips through one to be exposed to the same amount of radiation as a single dose from a hospital X-ray machine.Similar devices are used to scan trucks entering and leaving the UK at the channel ports, but this is believed to be the first time a car-sized version has been put into widespread use.

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23 October 2008

When crossing the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China the taxi I was travelling in was x-rayed. Everyone gets out before the car is scanned though.

This was leading up to the Olympic Games and I thought the security a little over the top considering the border I was crossing was from one Chinese province to another.

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