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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2013

JBSA-Randolph drivers urged to slow down

By Alex Salinas Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

Eleven drivers have struck the pole-like objects called bollards posted at the main and west gates of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph since the beginning of this year, but the security benefits they bring far outweigh the risk they pose to careless drivers, security officials said.

"As part of our antiterrorism measures, the bollards, along with our military and civilian police officers, provide an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorized or hostile vehicles from entering JBSA-Randolph through the outbound lanes (or exit gates)," Richard Coon, 902nd Security Forces Squadron police supervisor, said.

The bollards are at the designated exit points most of the day due to increased traffic volume. They also remain up on weekends and holidays unless a large event requires them to be taken down to allow exiting through both outbound lanes.

The bollards are designed to be navigated around at a maximum speed of 15 mph for a passenger vehicle, but some vehicles such as oversized trucks and trailers may have difficulty making it through safely if drivers don't slow down enough, Coon said.

Six of the 11 bollard strikes in 2013 occurred in October. Nine strikes were recorded in 2012.

"Two things we noticed were distracted driving and excessive speed, or a combination of both," Coon said.

Bollards were first installed at JBSA-Randolph in 2004 and will remain in use because of the blocking power they provide against potential threats, Maj. Gregory Bodenstein, 902nd SFS commander, said.

"The bollards don't pose a large problem for the base populace to the point of removing this good security practice," he said. "Negotiating the bollards is successfully done by thousands of drivers at JBSA-Randolph every day."

The only alteration made to the bollards is they're yellow instead of blue, a change made this year, to meet the standard roadway sign colors and to allow better visibility, Coon said.

Signs posted to the right of Harmon Drive' s outbound lanes when exiting JBSA-Randolph warn drivers of approaching bollards and remind them to slow down - from 25 mph to 15 mph.

"The key thing here is they're not going away," Coon said. "They are a force protection directive."