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Can Bollards Really Keep People Safe?

Safe and Security Bollards

In today’s urban environment, the safety of pedestrians and vehicles is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. As humans and vehicles become more intertwined with ever-changing street layouts, traffic upgrades, and more emphasis on pedestrian-friendly malls and mixed transport zones, safety is becoming harder to guarantee.

Safety is also a growing concern in CBD environments in Australia, with the growing risk of terror attacks and rogue cars plowing through crowds and into property – it’s a chilling and disappointing trend that businesses are coming to terms with.

Mitigating these risks in a dynamic urban environment is difficult – and finding the right solution will depend on individual circumstances. 

Risk areas

Areas exposed to traffic, whether it’s a sidewalk, shopping mall, car park area, or street corner, are all potential risk areas. Any area with pedestrian traffic passing through can be considered a risk zone, and any proximity to roads and vehicles contributes to a unique and challenging environment. So how do we mitigate these risks?

Bollards as a safety tool

Bollards have become a safe and secure means of protection from hostile vehicular traffic. But it’s more complex than simply  installing a few bollards out the front of your property. 

What bollards can and can’t do

First of all – it must be said that bollards are never the final solution to the safety issue – there will always be a degree of risk in every mixed traffic environment. Even a heavy-duty bollard can be useless in the face of a strategic attack or violent collision. But what can be guaranteed is a high level of protection that is unparalleled to any other protection device. Bollards can facilitate the flow of traffic without hindering vital foot traffic, and ward off cars and unwanted vehicles in a given space and time. 

Regulation – not prevention 

For businesses, it’s often about regulating the flow of traffic – not stopping it altogether. For example, an ice cream shop located in a mixed traffic area behind retractable bollards would still want its frozen goods delivered by van – and would want to give unrestricted access to the driver. Or a delivery bay located in a public parking lot might need to be kept free during certain hours. 

Much of choosing the right bollard will come down to a compromise between total safety and relative risk. 

Every situation needs its safety plan

Depending on the environment in question – there are a variety of different factors at play that determine the level of risk and the types of measures available to businesses and councils.

Because every situation is different – it’s important to get an expert opinion on how you should  

For businesses looking to protect their pedestrian walkways and thoroughfares from rogue cars, several considerations should be taken into account:

  • proximity to the road or thoroughfare 
  • Previous instances of accidents/security breaches in your area or precise location 
  • Existing traffic mitigation tools such as steps or railings 
  • Local council regulations
  • Insurance coverage 

Which safety bollard is best?

Here is an overview of different safety bollards used for protecting pedestrians in different areas:

  1. Removable bollards – can be useful for diverting traffic around construction and temporary road repairs. However, they are not considered effective medium or safety solutions for any established business. It’s therefore not advisable to use removable bollards in any pedestrian protection system. 
  2. Surface-mounted bollards – are easier to install than their heavier compatriots – but won’t stand a chance against a car at 50km/h. 
  3. Retractable bollards can be incredibly useful in allowing for mixed traffic movement – while also stopping more hostile or unwarranted cars from entering certain areas.
  4. Heavy-duty permanent or in-ground bollards – when used effectively with correct spacing can be highly effective at protecting pedestrians and property from rogue cars and trucks. While effective at preventing traffic from spilling over onto the footpath, it can also be restrictive in terms of emergency service vehicle access. Heavy-duty bollards are used to protect valuable inner-city properties and heavy pedestrian walkways. 

Materials matter

When it comes to the safety of your property, staff, and the public at large, no strategy goes ‘too far’. That’s why choosing high-quality stainless steel bollards is the best way of ensuring you’ve got the right protection in place. But costs do run up quickly when you’re investing in higher quality products like stainless steel safety bollards. That’s why attention to the planning and installation must be on-point. 

Premium safety products Australia

Managing safety in built-up areas can get complex – that’s why getting experts to help you navigate the bureaucracy can be helpful to both your schedule and your bottom line. Get in touch with Image Extra for access to a wide range of safety products – ready to meet your needs.


Image Extra is the leading bollard supplier in Perth. With decades of experience, we pride ourselves in “Protecting Your Business”.