Rob Reiter, principal at Reiter and Reiter Consulting, is chair of SIA’s Perimeter Security Subcommittee. The road to Waukesha, Wisconsin, runs from Santa Monica, California. It runs from Stillwater, Oklahoma. It runs from Austin, Texas, and Charlottesville, Virginia. The road runs from New York City and New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a road paved with good intentions and wishful thinking.
It’s not a real road of course – and it is a road that has a heavy toll, with the price paid by innocent people over two decades.
Vehicle-into-crowd incidents are frequent, they are dangerous, and they are deadly. Ask officials in New Orleans, where 28 people were injured by a drunk driver during Mardi Gras in 2017, or New York City, where one was killed and 20 injured in a Times Square vehicle attack in 2017 and where eight were killed and 11 injured in a terrorist attack on the West Side bikeway a few months later. It was a similar story in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one was killed and 35 injured in a vehicle attack on a demonstration in 2017. If you cannot reach them, ask officials in Austin Texas where four persons were killed and 25 injured at SXSW by a drunk driver fleeing arrest, or ask the same question in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where four were killed and 46 injured in 2015 at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade by an impaired driver, and see if they can speak with you. If not, you can probably reach someone in Santa Monica, California, where 10 persons were killed and over 70 hospitalized in 2003 by an impaired driver at a farmer’s market.