Photo Courtesy of, Source - Jimmy Bolf

Photo Courtesy of, Source – Jimmy Bolf

The vast majority of the time I am usually able to proclaim a security bollard (or wedge barrier) the winner in a contest between it and a car or truck. (Witness last week’s article – “Videos Show Trucks Ramming Counter Terrorism Barriers” ).

But such was not the case at the BMO Harris Bank on Saturday in Fox River Grove, at least according to the Arlington Cardinal. It reported “No Injuries as Bollard Fails to Protect BMO Harris Bank from Car Crash into Building at US 14 and Route 22 in Fox River Grove”.

The white Regal Buick SUV pictured above had slammed through the wall of the bank and was almost entirely inside when it came to a stop. Luckily no one was injured. You can clearly see the yellow, nearly vertical, security bollard to the right of the fireman on his knees behind the vehicle.

But is this the entire story? Or is the paper’s headline as misleading as ours is?

Let me first say that all bollards are not the same. Some are designed to prevent low speed, or low impact crashes such as cars jumping a curb when moving forward instead of in reverse. Or as we have shown on this blog many times before, bollards used in parking control applications where they protect exposed vital equipment. These are not crash rated bollards installed to thwart larger, heavier vehicles and trucks.

The article does take the stand that it “appeared to be improperly installed with not enough of the post below ground.” It goes on to describe a proper installation including concrete foundation. It also raised questions about local building inspectors and building codes. They also share a link to a page on ConcreteConstruction’s web site on Creating A Bollard.

I disagree with the assumptions and where the article leads readers. I doubt whether this bollard was intended to prevent a low-speed event or a crash and grab (or ram) raid.

I suspect the correct answer might be – neither. I went further down the article and also invite you to scroll down and view a slew of additional pictures, including various Google Maps and images.

One image from Google maps struck me. It shows a ‘before’ view of the front of the bank. There we can see two short yellow pillars each anchoring a handicap parking sign, one on either side of the entrance. These bollards may have merely been concrete anchors for those signs and not even true security bollards.

It seems to me that the obvious path for a real ram raid would have been through the front entry doors rather than through a brick wall. That’s the place where crash rated bollards might have been installed. If anything, the bollards perhaps were only installed to hold the signs and possibly prevent a low-speed impact from a handicapped driver.

Image courtesy of (PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Bolf).

Please call ECI at 847.949.0134 when you need a professional opinion about installing protective security bollards for your location. Or click below for direct contact information.