We have all noticed there have been some changes made to our entry control gates. Part of the newly constructed gates are new Anti-Vehicle Deterrent System Barriers, which are installed at all of the base entry control gates. If you are not familiar with them, they are flush with the roadway and have red horizontal lines painted on them. We drive over them each time we enter or exit any of our controlled access entry gates.
There are a few things we need to be aware of concerning these barriers. They are rapid-deploying, crash-rated wedge barriers. This means they will deploy in a matter of seconds and they are designed to stop large, fast moving vehicles when necessary. They are capable of stopping any vehicle that typically enters Hill Air Force Base.
The barriers will not stop once engaged if pedestrians or vehicles are on them at the time of deployment. According to the information provided in the United Facilities Criteria (UFC) 4-022- 02, 5-2.4 Safety: “An active vehicle barrier system is capable of inflicting serious injury. Even when used for intended purpose. It can kill or seriously injure individuals.”
The barriers are absolutely necessary at Hill AFB as they provide 75th Security Forces Squadron Defenders a final line of defense against unauthorized vehicles at each access control point. The barriers give them the ability to stop unauthorized vehicles in the response zone of the access control point where 75th SFS personnel are able to address or neutralize threats as necessary. Now that we understand the dangers of the barrier systems, motorists need to be alert and pay close attention as we approach them while driving. It could quickly become a hazardous situation to park directly over the barriers while entering or exiting the base in the event of a barrier deployment. If you are stopped in traffic, do yourself a favor and park your vehicle far enough behind them to keep all parts of your vehicle completely clear of the barrier. Make sure you can completely pass over them before proceeding in slow traffic conditions. If the barriers were to deploy while parked on top of them, your vehicle will most likely be damaged and the occupants may sustain serious injuries. We need to be mindful they are there, respect them at all times, and avoid idling directly over them at any time.
The warning lights, where available, are yellow when it is safe to cross over them. If you see the light has turned red, stop immediately and do not proceed until the light has returned to yellow, or a member of 75th SFS has told you it is safe to cross over them.
As pedestrians, we also need to respect them at all times. When you see the red horizontal lines on the roadway, do not confuse them for a crosswalk. This is definitely not a safe place to cross the roadway. If you were walking or standing on the barriers when they deploy, you have little chance of walking away without an injury. This could be a very serious injury as a result of the speed, force and angle of deployment. Be smart and look for an appropriate crosswalk to utilize when crossing the roadways. Crosswalks are never painted red. Red is never used as a safe color.
Let’s be alert, aware and safe out there.