I read an article from Security Info Watch “Key considerations in mitigating vehicle attacks”. It points out several factors to evaluate in designing and installing counter terrorism defenses for parking lots with a much higher level of risk. Increased risk demands higher security when protecting a governmental installation or an embassy rather than a business or university parking lot or garage.
In addition to a higher risk level, the article points out that in designing a security package we must also consider how frequently vehicles enter and exit the premises. Adding to this is the question as to whether guards are present to physically inspect the vehicles or if the entry system is automated.
I leave the detailed discussion of kinetic energy as it relates to weight and speed of the vehicles to those engineers among us. The important messages in the article are, of course, based on those factors the perimeter security protection must stop the progress of the vehicle.
One factor in designing protection is the ability to slow down the speed of a terrorist’s vehicle used in the attack. I quote from the article: “Straight lines make for faster and easier approaches for vehicles” creating “curves on access roads to your facility (act) as a natural impediment”. An effective technique is requiring the vehicle to make a sharp curve right in front of the entrance.
The article discusses other points to consider such as use of knolls, early warning devices which can check a vehicle’s velocity, use of the wrong lane or if the vehicle is too large for the facility, etc. Once alerted defensive measures such as raising vehicle spikes, anti-ram and crash rated security bollards or wedge barriers can be deployed.
When designed and installed properly, crash rated devices afford reasonable protection against terrorists using vehicles traveling at high speeds and perhaps carrying explosives. Always deal with an established, reputable company to avoid a false sense of security.
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