Vehicle Access Control


rom boom barriers to bollards, there are many ways to control vehicle access. The right solution for your site depends on your objectives. Industrial, residential, highway and military sites all have different needs when it comes to vehicle access. Let’s take a look at the various vehicle access control options and see how they compare in terms of security, fluidity and maintenance costs.

Boom Barriers

Boom barriers use a bar to block vehicle access to a restricted site. Operators or automatic access control systems can pivot the bar out of a vehicle’s path to allow approved people onto the site. These barriers typically offer a minimum level of security: a determined intruder may be able to destroy a basic boom barrier by driving through it at speed. However, all boom barriers provide a natural stopping point for sites that need to verify the identity of visitors. Boom barriers are also used at level crossings to prevent cars from driving onto tracks when a train is approaching. Compared to access control gates, these barriers are usually relatively inexpensive to install and maintain.

Sliding and Swinging Gates

Gates provide a highly secure barrier against unwanted visitors. When drivers approach a closed gate, they have no choice but to stop and verify their identity. The gate slides or swings open to give access to approved visitors. There is no way for either vehicles or pedestrians to slip through this kind of barrier, which means both sliding and swinging gates provide good security. However, as gates contain more parts than simple barriers or bollards, the maintenance costs may be higher.


Bollards signal to vehicles that they should not enter a particular area. Some bollards contain proximity sensors, which detect chips in approved vehicles and lower the bollards to allow them to pass. Bollards allow pedestrian traffic to flow freely while restricting vehicle access. These simple structures are easy to maintain, although they can be damaged by vehicles driving into them. Bollards are used in a wide variety of applications, including on public highways and industrial sites, and in commercial areas.

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