Website of the Week: TSA. Yes, the TSA

OK, they're not the most popular government agency out there, and everybody has some tale of an indignity or inefficiency getting onto an airplane.
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OK, it's not the most popular government agency out there, and everybody has some tale of an indignity or inefficiency getting onto an airplane.

But now is not the time to bicker and argue about who's violating whose privacy. Today, we take a look at the TSA's Web site, which gives travelers the clearest picture of what to do and what to expect at airports, to help everyone's travel move a little more smoothly.

Not everyone likes all the TSA policies (Honestly, do my toddlers HAVE to remove their shoes?) and it took me a few trips to fully digest that 3-1-1 directive on liquids and figure out what I could and couldn't bring on board.

But look--the folks at TSA deal with zillions of travelers, many of whom are cranky, and eventually get everyone through. They have to strike the balance between the safest possible air system (one with no passengers) and a lawless free-for-all. For the most part, they do it as cheerfully and efficiently as one could imagine.

Which gets us to the Website. That shoe question I had earlier? On TSA.gov, there are explanations for their various policies. In fact, before I watched a video on the TSA YouTube channel, I didn't realize it was better to put my shoes directly on the X-Ray belt, as opposed to in the plastic bin (it gives screeners a better look.) The video also mentions that they're working on shoe-scanners, so eventually we'll be able to keep our shoes on just like in the old days.

In all, TSA has 57 videos on its YouTube channel.

The site also clearly posts the latest news, summaries of incidents, and--maybe most important--tips to get you and the people behind you in line through the screening process more efficiently.

TSA is also keeping up with the times with swift response to breaking news items (and to complaints) with a blog where travelers can also participate in the discussion and leave comment.

There's a Myth Busters section and one on Terminal Madness, describing some of the wackier goings-on at the nation's airports. And of course, the TSA has the RSS feed and Twitter account we expect from a big-time agency.

So for its efforts in not only keeping travelers safe but also the tough job of communicating with the public, TSA.gov is the Government Video Website of the Week!

And speaking of transportation, check out last week's Website of the Week, where Caltrans gets a truckload of information to California drivers with some of its 1,000-plus traffic cameras.

Got a great government Website? Tell us at stalwani@nbmedia.com.

And follow Government Video on Twitter: www.twitter.com/governmentvideo.

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