Small steel pole sales on rise as terrorist attacks now include cars as weapons

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As terrorists move beyond using just bombs and guns in attacks, bollard companies are seeing a rise in purchases for the security barriers.

The steel products can be found at the Santa Monica Pier and Times Square, which are areas that could be at high risk for terrorist attacks.

Robert Reiter, chief security consultant for Calpipe Safety Bollards, said recent terror attacks involving vehicles have motivated cities and venues to buy their product.

"Well people are trying to react very quickly to a problem that didn't seem like a problem a few years ago," he said.

Some bollards are tested to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle going 50 mph. The company said it's the only California maker of bollards put to that kind of test.

The city of Long Beach, for example, installed crash-test rated bollards downtown. They are designed to stop a 15,000-pound car moving 30 mph. The city installed them in 2016 and placed them across Pine Avenue as a security measure for special events.

Calpipe said the steel barriers can cost anywhere between a couple thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the number and design.

"Accidents happen every day - there are drunk drivers that have killed people in crowds, there are mechanical failures in cars that have killed people in crwods. But when people do it on purpose as a terrorist act or a criminal act, the loss of life can be very high," Reiter said.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.