Anti-Ram Vehicle Barriers for Pedestrian and Crowd Safety

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Cities, towns, and municipalities of all sizes have a moral, if not legal, duty to their citizens to provide safe public spaces where they live, work, and play without fear. As such, investments in security technologies that address new and emerging public safety threats are paramount – including those that combat the growing threat of vehicle ramming incidents.  

The new security imperative presented by vehicle ramming incidents has only come into focus in recent years. The Counter Extremism Project has documented that as of November 2023, there have been at least 74 vehicular terrorist attacks since 2006, collectively resulting in the deaths of at least 212 people and the injury of at least 1,194 others. In the face of this evolving threat, it becomes critical for public and private entities alike to proactively implement anti-ram vehicle barriers that can effectively deter and prevent potential attacks while mitigating their associated risks.  

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Anti-ram vehicle barriers deliver a number of safety and security benefits for municipalities, keeping pedestrians safe during temporary events, assisting with traffic control for public transportation applications, preventing property damage at public spaces and numerous types of government facilities, and much more. These robust solutions act as a first line of defense, effectively deterring and mitigating potential threats posed by unauthorized vehicles while simultaneously helping cities avoid costly liabilities linked to vehicular incidents. 

Barrier1 Systems offers an extensive range of crash rated, anti-ram vehicle barriers that municipalities can rely upon across their jurisdiction. To discover the potential applications of our vehicle barrier solutions within a city, simply hover over and click the desired area for more information. 

Temporary Events 

Vehicles causing widespread damage at public events is not uncommon. Who could forget the 2021 vehicle attack on the Waukesha Christmas parade or the accident involving a drunk driver at the 2023 Bakersfield Christmas parade – two incidents wherein a vehicle caused harm to innocent bystanders. Fortunately, crash-rated, anti-ram mobile vehicle barriers provide a solution for temporary event security. 

Their fast and easy to install nature makes mobile vehicle barriers well suited to a number of temporary events that require short-lived protection. This includes parades, holiday markets, street festivals, outdoor concerts, campaign rallies, sporting events, and other occasions where foot traffic is dense but not permanent. In such instances, mobile vehicle barriers can establish an effective temporary perimeter, keeping vehicles away from central activity while preserving the welcoming atmosphere of community gatherings. And while mobile vehicle barrier systems are known for their anti-ram capabilities, they also act as temporary pedestrian crowd control barriers. This dual functionality is particularly important during crowded events, such as the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center in NYC, where such solutions can simultaneously help divert foot traffic while protecting pedestrians from the potential threat of an intentional or accidental vehicle ramming incident.  

How to Use Vehicle Barriers for Crowd Safety and Temporary Event Safety

Government Buildings 

High profile government buildings, such as city halls and courthouses, serve as a common gathering spot for protests and other types of political demonstrations. This makes them targets for intentional vehicle ramming attacks with the attacker either targeting individuals congregating around the building or the building itself. The potential for such attacks underscores the critical need for effective government and courthouse security equipment to safeguard these symbolic and critical institutions. 

Installing retractable, high security barriers at courthouse perimeters and surrounding streets provides customizable protection based upon fluctuating needs. For example, retractable crash beam solutions combine electronic access control for vehicles with anti-ram capabilities to ensure that only authorized vehicles are permitted in the parking/loading areas surrounding the building. Retractable bollards are similarly ideal for the streets and roads adjacent to government buildings, as they can be raised and lowered in the event of a protest or during times of civil unrest. When not required, retractable bollards can be lowered to be flush with the pavement, allowing for through traffic or emergency vehicle access.

Police Stations

Like other government buildings, police stations are potential hotspots for conflict, requiring enhanced security measures to safeguard both law enforcement personnel and the public they serve. High security, crash rated bollards are the ideal anti-ram vehicle barriers for police station perimeters. Known for their superior stopping abilities, these solutions carry an ASTM crash rating of up to M50-P1, signifying a barrier’s ability to stop a 15,000 pound truck traveling at 50 mph with minimal penetration into the protected zone after impact.  

Beyond the police station perimeter, law enforcement agencies can also rely upon anti-ram mobile vehicle barriers for use as temporary event security barriers for crowd safety and traffic control. Modular, portable vehicle barrier solutions offer law enforcement agencies a way to deploy highly effective temporary protection that can be adjusted to fit site and specific roadway widths. In many cases, these mobile solutions can be set up by one person in just minutes, providing a fast response to changing security needs. 


Public parks are especially vulnerable to vehicle ramming incidents. Their open spaces and public accessibility pose a unique challenge in terms of perimeter security. And as a community space for families and children to gather and play, their inherent vulnerability emphasizes the urgent need for enhanced safety measures. To ensure safety in public parks, anti-ram vehicle solutions therefore need to be both effective and able to meet the practical needs of modern city life.  

New advancements in bollard design have fundamentally changed what barriers for public parks look like. These innovative designs not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of park environments but also offer heightened security and versatility in their function. With a unique shark-tooth design, such bollards can be uniquely customized with a variety of options including the integration of benches, planters, bicycle racks, directional signage, and more to provide an aesthetic and highly effective perimeter protection solution. Retractable bollards are also ideal for use on paved park bike paths or running trails, offering seamless access for cyclists and pedestrians while also including provisioning for emergency vehicle access in times of crisis.   

Public Transportation  

When placed around bus stops and other public transportation hubs, anti-ram bollards deliver required protection, particularly from accidental vehicle ramming incidents caused by pedal error. Pedal error, or the act of pressing the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal while attempting to park or slow down, is frequently common in public transportation areas such as bus depots and park and ride lots where drivers are in a hurry to stay on schedule. In these instances, having a crash-rated bollard in place by sidewalks, curbs, and other high traffic areas could help prevent a potentially deadly accident.  

Anti-ram bollards have also evolved in their designs and can now blend seamlessly into their given environment. When applied to public transportation, this could mean the integration of essential signage, seating, bicycle racks, trash cans, and more, into the bollard design itself. This allows transportation and civil engineers to meet a number of city initiatives simultaneously, enhancing pedestrian safety while promoting functional and aesthetically pleasing public spaces. 


Stinger PAS68 Temporary Barrier

Ideal for concerts, sporting events, parades, and other temporary events where quick barrier deployment is critical.

Sidewinder M30 Quick Connect Barrier

Cost Effective Vehicle Barrier designed to protect pedestrians at street festivals, farmers markets, public events and street closures

Avenger Manual Surface Set Swing Only Drop Arm

Surface Set design allows for quick set up and avoids underground utilities. Ideal for Nuclear Facilities, Oil & Gas, or other critical infrastructure locations where foundation excavation is problematic

Want to learn how Barrier1 anti-ram vehicle barriers can improve public safety in your city?