Preventing Vehicle Terror Attacks on Campus with Bollards

Bollards help protect special events, building entrances and more from vehicle attacks and accidents.

Temporary Barriers Are Especially Popular

By their very nature, terrorist attacks are unpredictable. Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas and securing them is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. That means being able to deploy security equipment, such as portable temporary barriers, in tough conditions at a moment’s notice.

Terrorists typically don’t go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically. Temporary barriers are often used to protect facilities while permanent ones are being built. They’ve even been effective for long-term applications where physical conditions preclude permanent solutions.

Their most common use is for when vehicle access is required temporarily, such as for football game parking, a grand opening for a new wing, freshman matriculation day and open houses. These barriers can be deployed quickly and effectively, even in places where it’s impossible to excavate for a permanent foundation.

Organizations that require a temporary barricade system can deploy moveable self-contained barricades that can be towed into position within 15 minutes. They were created for military checkpoints in Afghanistan and Iraq to provide another level of force protection. Three lengths – 12, 16 and 20 feet – have been built over the years.

These mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers carry a M40 rating, stopping 7.5 ton vehicles traveling 40 mph. No excavation or sub-surface preparation is required. Once towed into position, the portable barricade uses DC-powered hydraulic pumps to unpack and raise and lower itself off its wheels. There is no hand cranking. Wheels are stored along the sides and the vehicle ramps fold out, completing the implementation. To move the barrier from that spot to another, the procedures are just reversed.

A second version, light enough to be towed by a golf cart and set up in o
nly 10 minutes, provides an ASTM crash rating of P40, which means it will stop a 5,000-pound vehicle going 40 mph. With no foundation or electrical hook-up needed, two people can set up and take down the barrier in minutes. A self-contained power system provides all the power necessary to raise and lower the unit onto its trailer and open and close the barrier. This battery-powered system re-charges with a solar panel or external means. Controls can be locked or operated at the barricade or remotely.

Differing from the “hard stop,” wanted with anti-terrorist barricades, “soft stop” technology of the portable barrier decelerates and stops the vehicle over a short distance. This is important because, in many cases, the tragedies that the portables negate are accidents. Authorities want the vehicle stopped but they also want to minimize injury to the driver.

Penn State uses these barriers for football games and special events. Like the University of Michigan, OSU and others, Penn State can quickly deploy these barriers at strategic sites around the facility. After the event, they are quickly knocked down and towed to another location.

Procurement Can Be Simple

From a purchasing standpoint, it can be easier to buy portable barriers than permanent ones. The latter are often placed into an organization’s real assets budget because they are permanently installed into the ground, becoming part of the property. Such budgets can create complex purchasing scenarios. However, purchasing portable barriers is no different than buying protective vests for law enforcement/security personnel or new sets of wrenches for the maintenance department.

For one time uses, lease plans are available and enable organizations to simply lease the portable barriers, use them, pack them up and return them.

No Application Is Too Large or Small

Protecting campuses from vehicle attacks is no small responsibility; it’s becoming mandatory. Knowing that you’ve got the right equipment in place to secure the campus from vehicle threat and prevent what is becoming all too common human tragedy brings peace of mind that no amount of money can buy. Carefully researching available options and consulting with experts will ultimately lead to the right solution in helping you protect your campus from vehicle-based terrorism.

Greg Hamm is the vice president of sales and marketing for Delta Scientific.

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