Due to the increased versatility of the once restricted Jersey Barrier these new functions have proven immensely beneficial in a variety of circumstances. Their practicality and advantages have proven themselves to be incredibly valuable on numerous occasions. Jersey Barriers have even been used in a number of high profile events to do exactly what they were designed to accomplish. Several of these instances have even pertained to matters of national security. As a result of their careful design and sturdy construction Jersey Barriers have proven to be a phenomenal instrument of safety. One such occasion is a matter of international proportions. The Olympics have opted for these barriers on several occasions to ensure the safety of the athletes as well as the spectators. Since it is such a multi-national event, it is the responsibility of the host city and host nation to protect its guests from any potential dangers. Additionally, in a slightly different implementation, some of the world’s major race tracks, that is race car racing, have also installed Jersey Barriers as a way of protecting the racers and anyone else involved in the sporting event, namely spectators. These occasions are both representative of instances where Jersey Barriers have been incredibly useful in overall, general public safety. With respect to matters requiring a greater degree of elevated security, they have also been of tremendous value. Since the year 1993, they have been used at every Presidential Inauguration ceremony. This is for the protection of the spectators as well as the security of the many heads of state in the Nation’s capital. As the Presidential Inaugural Ceremony is a critical moment for America as a nation, many view it as a hot target for terrorists or attackers. Even though they are installed primarily for the safety of the President Elect, Jersey Barriers also help protect any spectators or bystanders from external, terrorist threats. It is important that safety and protection be kept in mind at all times so that everyone either directly involved or even those in remote contact with the event are not put at any unnecessary risks. Each of these examples demonstrates the wide range of functions that the Jersey Barrier can perform. They exemplify the immense versatility that this structure possesses, but also represents the fundamental purpose of the Jersey Barrier, and that is to establish and maintain public safety.
The Olympics is a tremendous event, marked by the gathering of many nations, politics aside, to compete in a series of sporting events. Hundreds of these international athletes travel to convene at a predetermined central location. Not only are these athletes present, but also hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world and even present and former world leaders and other celebrity figures make their way to the Olympic village to behold the games. In a vast multi-national situation such as this, widespread security is one of the first priorities on every agenda. To satisfy the need for protection and safety, Jersey Barriers have been used at these events as one of many instruments of security, for a number of reasons. First and foremost is crowd control. There are staggering numbers, certainly hundreds of thousands of international spectators who attend the Olympic games. It is of critical importance to ensure that these people are kept safe both from each other as well as any external threats. Jersey Barriers may be put in place to ensure that attendees remain in designated safe zones. These may be assigned not only to guarantee safety to the spectators but also, in certain instances, be outlined for the safety of the participants or other important individuals such as world leaders who may be a more specific target of any harm. The goal is to find a compromise between safety and entertainment, which often proves to be a difficult task. Nonetheless Jersey Barriers are the most effective way to accomplish this task. During the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, the original concrete Jersey Barriers were used as an anchor for a tall chain link fence around the entire perimeter of the Olympic village. This fence was designed to keep saboteurs and other threatening individuals from entering the premises. The Jersey Barriers were chosen for several reasons the first being that they are sturdy structures that can be temporarily installed for such a purpose. An additional motive was that these Jersey Barriers, as previously explained, pose less of a threat to passing vehicles than a fence structure would itself. These two vastly different applications of the Jersey Barrier demonstrate the ingenuity of its design. Its incredibly simple silhouette often betrays its immense versatility.
Another instance where Jersey Barriers have been incredibly valuable is on racecar racetracks. Jersey Barriers have even extended to international tracks such as those owned and operated by Formula One. Concrete barriers have made the sport immeasurably safer for both drivers and spectators alike. Prior to the introduction of the Jersey Barrier to racecar racing, metal guardrails, typically constructed out of steel, would line the track. These would often be two tiers and the audience would be set back a certain distance from the track and elevated above the railing for both safety and viewing purposes. Unfortunately, these precautions weren’t enough. Since metal rails are still flexible under high-speed impact, such as those encountered in this kind of racing, debris would sometimes make its way into the crowd injuring and even killing onlookers. Additionally, the drivers would be put at fatal risk and rarely survived these crashes without serious, lasting damage if they survived at all. In present day, mostly all major race tracks have installed Jersey Barriers along the entire length of the track from start to finish; this includes Talladega, the Indie 500 and as noted Formula One tracks as well. This has made major improvements in the safety of the sport. First and foremost is the vastly improved safety of the spectators. As previously discussed, Jersey Barriers are designed to lift and roll vehicles in the event of a collision. In the case of high-speed racing, this yields several consequential benefits. Upon impact, the car is rolled inward back onto the track instead of allowing the momentum to continue in the direction of the audience, propelling any potential shrapnel in their direction. This eliminates the majority of the previous risk to the members of the audience. Jersey Barriers that line the track also prove to have a benefit for the drivers. Rolling the car inward, as discussed, helps to transfer the momentum of the car, and by flipping it over can often reduce the amount of injury that the driver incurs. Concrete barriers have proven to be extremely valuable on the racetrack. They have immensely increased the overall safety of the sport of auto racing and have made it enjoyable rather than risky. Once again the Jersey Barrier is used in a unique manner to serve its original purpose of ensuring public safety.
Regarding matters of national security, rather than general public safety, Jersey Barriers have also demonstrated their flexibility. They have been a reliable method of protection, albeit just one among many, at Presidential Inauguration ceremonies. In fact, they have been used at every Inauguration ceremony since 1993 and have proven to be effective each time. Their main purpose at the ceremony is to protect the President Elect. Typically they are positioned at a set distance from the stage to prevent any attendees from getting too threateningly close to the future President, his family and any other important members of Congress or National leaders that may be on the stage with the President Elect. This is to protect them from both intentional attacks and accidental harm. At the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ceremony these Jersey Barriers were even paired with bulletproof glass shields for added security. However these barriers are also installed to protect the attendees from each other as well as any external dangers. The Jersey Barriers are positioned such that they designate safe zones for the spectators. Additionally, they serve as guides for safe evacuation routes in case of any emergency. In these instances Jersey Barriers are also used for their original purpose as traffic directors. Since the Inauguration Ceremony is typically held in Washington DC, in the middle of the city there is a great deal of urban traffic and other unique challenges to manage. Jersey Barriers in this case, as they are designed to do, are ideal for making sure vehicles take safe routes about the city and avoid any dangerous encounters with the Inaugural party itself, attendees included. This generally helps ease the entire flow of the ceremony and helps security agents remain in command of the situation. The Presidential Inaugural ceremony is an incredibly important moment for the United States as a Nation and can easily be viewed as a target for attackers. Jersey Barriers help ease the concerns surrounding the event by ensuring certain safety precautions are taken to prevent harm from coming to anyone present. This is yet another example of the Jersey Barrier’s impressive versatility and consistent efficacy.
Since it’s inception the Jersey Barrier has proven to be a valuable asset to the public sphere. Through its careful development and improvement over the years its practicality has expanded enormously to include new realms of protection and security. From its original function as a highway median, the Jersey Barrier has come a long way to protect crowds of hundreds of thousands to even ensuring the safety of powerful world leaders. Originally the Jersey Barrier was intended to maintain order on the highways. It became an effective tool in keeping accidents controlled and minimizing the danger and damage that they may present. The elegant engineering that has gone into their design makes them the ideal structure for this purpose. As a result of this continued effort to keep the roadways safe for drivers the Jersey Barrier has been applied to a series of diverse circumstances, not the least of which is the Olympics. Barriers at this event have ensured the safety of hundreds of thousands of individuals: athletes, citizens and leaders alike. The strength and stability of the Jersey Barrier matched with its simultaneous adaptability made it the perfect choice for the Olympics’ security needs. Another of the Jersey Barrier’s widespread application is its installation in the world’s racetracks. Here it harkens back to its original purpose in vehicle safety, however its implications are far more dramatic. By ensuring that the vehicles flip inward, onto the track, instead of continuing onward into the crowd, many lives have been spared and numerous injuries avoided. In this case, it is the Jersey Barrier’s inherent design that has notably enhanced the safety of everyone involved in this sporting event. Another critical instance in which the Jersey Barrier has played a major role is at recent, past Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies. This occasion is a matter of national security and once again the Jersey Barrier proves to be an effective and adaptive instrument. This is perhaps the culmination of all the safety functions that the concrete barriers can offer. It is used to assist in traffic direction and regulation as well as crowd control. Most importantly it is an effective deterrent for threats and attacks on the President Elect. Through the years and in these diverse and difficult circumstances the Jersey Barrier has proven to perform far beyond what it was ever intended to do. It has ensured the safety of millions of lives since its introduction in 1946, and continues to be a versatile instrument of safety.