Belgian designer invents mobile barrier to save lives in terror attacks

World Today

After numerous terror attacks using vehicles to ram people in Europe, one designer said he’s found a solution to reduce loss of life.

The Belgian man behind the technology created a mobile barrier to be used in conjunction with other terrorism prevention methods.

CGTN’s Jack Parrock reports.

During testing, this barrier was confirmed to be able to stop a 7.5 ton truck traveling at 30 miles per hour within thirty meters.

The most deadly of this style of terror attack happened on France’s national day in 2016 – 86 innocent people were killed and nearly 500 others injured.

“After what happened in Nice, we were a little bit shocked that there were no barriers available on the market that would be mobile, easy to build, and easy to move that could stop, actually a truck. So we started working on this in order that this kind of event like Nice wouldn’t happen again,” Marc Weissberg, Pitagone CEO said.

When hit the barrier flips backwards and digs into the ground with spikes- the idea is to wreck the front of the vehicle to prevent more acceleration.

The barrier is the first of its kind to be certified in the world and the company expects to have sold over 10,000 units to authorities and security forces before the end of next year.

If deployed during a terror attack, the makers of this barrier said they hope it’s going to save lives. But the reality is, it’s not only vehicles that terrorists use when they strike.

That’s why in cities like Paris they building bullet proof glass panels around sites like the Eiffel Tower where large number of people gather at the cost of over $21 million.

The barrier is intended to compete with the more traditional concrete block – they harder to move but are much cheaper to buy.

For tourists in Brussels, they’re still seeing solider on the streets and have an awareness of the terror attacks.

“I’m always careful to watch for instance if I’m in a pub or something like that and you see an unattended bag. I always tell someone about it. I think you just have to keep your wits about you,” said British tourist Gregory Weakes.

“Maybe it is essential and useful because the block will physically prohibit the car attack,” said Chinese tourist Shixi Shen.

While the firm making the barrier is keen to sell it as much as possible, at a political level in Europe – there still a lot of discussion about how to combine intelligence to prevent people from becoming radicalized and conducting these kinds of attacks.