There are many good reasons to control vehicles, including how and when they can access your site. For example, you might want to have a restriction in place that limits the numbers of cars and motorbikes that can get into your car park at any one time. There again, you might like to make certain parts of your site suited to pedestrians to make it a safer environment to walk around. You might want to restrict the number of fumes that can build up, too, especially when there are so many petrol and diesel-powered cars coming to your site.
Of course, car park barriers systems are very good in this regard. They can be set up to work with license plate recognition technology to enhance your control. Sometimes fitted with radio frequency identification systems, they are extremely adaptable. This means that they might work automatically upon the arrival of authorised vehicles, for example. They can even operate in harmony with other barriers so that access to your site is fully regulated and controlled, even when multiple entry points are in operation at the same time.
However, such systems will only have limited success in defending your site from potential wrongdoing. Any site, including car parks and business parks, where vehicles can come and go provides a potential opportunity to criminals. In some cases, vehicles have been used to ram into buildings to allow criminals to gain entry to them. They have even been used to grab the contents of shop windows and or get hold of cash machines in the past.
The Use of Bollards In Today’s Urban Environment
One of the most common types of street furniture by far that controls the use of vehicle access these days is bollards. They have long been used in town and city centres, for example, to allow the free flow of pedestrians while restricting the movement of vehicles. Metal blocks may sound like a very simple technology because they offer little more than a physical barrier. However, there is much more to them than that.
To begin with, this type of barrier is extremely versatile. You can place them anywhere that you want to prevent vehicles going while not shutting off access for cyclists and pedestrians. Mounted in the ground, they add definition to an area without making the place unfriendly to motorists who can carry on unimpeded so long they remain on the right side of the barrier.
What’s more, these barriers can benefit from very site-specific utilisation. If you want to protect your main entrance from a ramming threat by a thief or a terrorist, for example, then just a few well-positioned blocks will be enough to deter any such attempts. Equally, if you intend to make an entire walkway safer for pedestrians, then you can do so by using a line of them spaced at appropriate intervals.
Of course, anything that blocks the way of vehicles can still get knocked into accidentally from time to time. However, with these devices fitted, it takes very little to reposition or replace them, when needed, following some damage. Compare that to a metal fence or a balustrade which is likely to be much more costly to repair if it were accidentally driven into.
Understanding Publicly Available Specification 68
It is worth knowing about publicly available specification (PAS) 68 because this is the standard to which these sorts of products ought to conform to if they are to be effective. In short, PAS 68 bollards are designed to be sufficiently strong when they are driven at deliberately by someone intent on causing damage. Inferior products may create a visual barrier that acts as a perimeter defence but this is not much use if criminals work out that they can simply power through them to wreak havoc.
Instead, PAS 68 bollards meet specific tests for what is known as hostile vehicle mitigation. Not only does this mean that you will expect the toughest and most durable materials to be used for the products themselves but how they are mounted will play a part, too. In other words, you bury them deep into the ground such that they act like a big cantilever if the part above the ground is driven into. With sufficient anchoring, even a high powered vehicle will not be able to force its way over or through.
Bear in mind that such equipment is not simply there to prevent accidents and to make people using your site feel safer. Although it will undoubtedly have this beneficial effect, their installation will mean that criminals are successfully deterred from making attempts at destructive behaviour using a vehicle as a weapon in the first place.
Needless to say, there are numerous other products you can invest in that conform to the PAS 68 standard. These include sliding gates that will not yield if driven into as well as crash beam barriers and road blockers. Anyone who takes site security seriously should look into them as well as the bollard-style of products that provide instant protection.
Finally, it is worth remembering that controlling vehicular access to your site, whether you have specific security issues or not, is an investment. Conversely, failing to put the right control measures could mean a financial loss from destruction, reputational damage to your business and even the loss of life in the worst cases. When the technology is there to support you, why would you not invest in it? After all, the benefits outweigh the potential downsides hugely.