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Malls And Public Spaces Need Protection From Vehicles Driving Into Crowds



For over 20 years, I have worked to document the danger of vehicles driving into crowded spaces meant for pedestrians and shoppers, and NOT meant for vehicles. Many of these incidents have been accidental, while others have been deliberate vehicle intrusions where drivers intended to gain entry to an area to commit a crime (stealing merchandise) or deliberately wanting to harm people inside. Many areas and businesses have taken steps to prevent such incidents -- Times Square in New York City for example, or major sports arenas, and large retailers and most shopping mall owners. But clearly, not all property owners have taken the proper steps to provide safety and security against vehicles being driven into public areas.


Last week a driver in Pueblo Colorado drove his vehicle right through the entrance doors and into the Pueblo Mall food court, which had customers and workers inside. He drove in, made threats, and eventually drove out -- leaving behind lots of damage and frightened people. Such incidents are common and have been well documented for more than 20 years -- my first interview on this very topic was in 2007!


Safety and security cannot be neglected. The next time this happens, it may lead to crime, injuries to the public, and maybe even fatalities. There is NO REASON why a property owner or mall operator should be so negligent as to pretend that such an incident is just too unlikely to plan for. Malls have guards and fire sprinklers and first aid kits and all sorts of rarely used safety equipment -- prevention of vehicles driving into pedestrian-only areas where families are eating lunch is just as fundamental. Measures to protect entrances are available, affordable, and effective.


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