sands [are] in attendance,” said Keven
Moore, of Roeding Insurance Group
in Louisville, Kentucky. “Many of these
events will have street vendors, alcohol
and food concessions; with entire families,
strollers, pets standing in the middle of a
street distracted by the events of the venue
like bowling pins in a bowling alley.”
New safety standards
A number of initiatives at the municipal,
county and state levels have been introduced over the past three years, and many
are now law.
1) Orange County, Florida, passed an
ordinance requiring day care and other
child care service providers to install protective safety barriers at exposed locations
– the county even stepped up to fund up
to 50 percent of the cost at each location
retrofitting for immediate compliance.
Orange County joined Miami/Dade as
having ordinances on the books mandating safety barriers at certain locations.
2) Two cities in Los Angeles County,
California, have also passed ordinances
requiring safety barriers at various locations. Artesia and Malibu became the first
cities in the state to do so, though neither
required retroactive installation.
2) The state of California passed the most
significant legislation; AB2161 (Quirk
D20) was signed by Governor Brown and
became law on January 1, 2017. The measure provides that the use of certain vehicle
barriers at a commercial property may be
considered by insurers as safety devices
that qualify for a discount on the owner’s
insurance premiums, as approved by the
commissioner of insurance. The measure
also encourages the statewide adoption of a
standard for such safety devices by the California Building Standards Commission.
“Data tells us that more than 4,000 pedestrians, store patrons and employees are
seriously injured every year nationwide in
accidents involving storefront crashes,” explained Assemblyman Bill Quirk of California, author of AB2161. “Further, as many as
500 people are killed [annually] due to this
type of accident. A little change in how we
approach preventative measures can save
lives. Most of these crashes can be prevented with some simple and inexpensive steps.”
Trends to watch
California tends to be a leader in code
and liability matters, so watch for addi-
tional states to follow suit in the 2017–
2018 legislative cycle to encourage the
use of safety barriers at parking lots, retail
and pedestrian areas, and places where
the public congregates.
ASTM has adopted an official test standard (ASTM F-3016), which certifies the effectiveness of any tested barrier in the event
of an impact from a 5,000-pound vehicle
(large SUV/full-size pickup) at 10 mph, 20
mph and 30 mph. This standard has already
been adopted in the Florida ordinance, and
will be proposed for California’s building
code in the coming legislative cycle as well.
There is an increasing trend as state
courts continue to rule that claims of
foreseeability and a duty of care in accidental and deliberate vehicle incursions
are a matter for juries to decide. This is
increasing the cost of such litigation and
claims settlements for defendants nationally. Commercial property owners and insurers would be prudent to take appropriate precautions to reduce these risks.
Rob Reiter is an expert in perimeter
security and retail and pedestrian safety.
He is a co-founder of the Storefront Safety
Council and consults with companies in
the manufacturing, security and safety
industries, and serves as an expert
witness in cases nationally.
Times Square in New York is now protected by crash-rated removable bollards. Improving security at a public space or commercial
storefront also provides greater safety to the public and invitees as well. (Photo: Calpipe Security Bollards)