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 February 2007
Tech News

Proposed Standard to Provide Testing Protocol for Low Speed Pedestrian Barriers

It unfortunately happens too often: a driver in a parking lot suddenly loses control of a car, sending it into a storefront or other pedestrian area. Property damages and serious injuries, sometimes fatal, are often the results of these accidents. In an effort to minimize the damage caused by such crashes, ASTM International Committee F12 on Security Systems and Equipment is developing a proposed new standard, WK13074, Test Method for Crash Testing of Low Speed Pedestrian Barriers. The standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F12.10 on Systems, Products and Services.

“Separating pedestrians from traffic and protecting store fronts from the impacts of cars that jump curbs as a result of operator error are compelling issues of public safety and building and public space design,” says Robert Reiter, a member of Subcommittee F12.10 and national sales manager, Cal Pipe Security Bollards. The proposed new standard will begin to address this issue by providing testing parameters for lower speed vehicle pedestrian barriers.

When approved, WK13074 will enable designers to properly size pedestrian protection devices based on lower energy threats such as passenger vehicles traveling at lower speeds. According to Dean Alberson, subcommittee member and research engineer in the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, barriers such as these are not typically tested and their performance is largely unknown.

“Manufacturers will have certified labs use this proposed new standard to obtain pedestrian ratings for their products,” says Alberson. “Architects and engineers will be the end users of products that are tested to these standards.”

Reiter says that the only current standard for testing barriers is the K rating from the U.S. Department of State, but that this standard doesn’t really apply to most cases in which bollards are used. “As opposed to high-security K-rated bollards, which are designed to keep vehicles from intentionally coming through a security perimeter, most bollards are used for either simple access denial or pedestrian safety.”

WK13074 will cover the bollards, barriers, gates, planters and other products used in the many instances not covered by the K rating. “WK13074 will provide architects and engineers with tools to evaluate products and materials that will be put in place to provide simple security, pedestrian protection or denial of access to vehicles less than 5500 pounds at normal traffic speeds,” says Reiter. “Such applications cover the majority of cases where vehicle/pedestrian injuries and property damage are occurring.”

Reiter says that the subcommittee is especially interested in working with stakeholders who want a testing protocol that will provide definitive guidance for testing products to be incorporated into public safety programs, site security specifications and property protection features. Alberson adds that the subcommittee is also interested in participation from governmental entities, as well as manufacturers and end users that are interested in contributing to the development of WK13074. //


Technical Information: Robert Reiter, Cal Pipe Security Bollards, Downey, Calif.
Phone: 800/225-7473 ex. 238

Dean Alberson, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University
Phone: 979/458-3874

ASTM Staff: Joseph Hugo
Phone: 610/832-9740

Upcoming Meeting:
April 17-18 Norfolk, Va.
April Committee Week

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