By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
In Germany on New Year’s Eve, a man intentionally drove his vehicle into a crowd and injured several people, some of them severely. This terrorist incident was one of the new terrorist tactics used in mass casualty events over the past few years.
Vehicular Accidents Not New, But Deliberate Use of Vehicles to Maim or Kill Pedestrians Is Recent Terrorist Tactic
Vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are not new; they have happened for decades. But now, vehicle-ramming attacks are a common terrorist tactic that has been used in various cities, such as:
- London, England
- Muenster, Germany
- Berlin, Germany
- Nice, France
- Toronto, Canada
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Manhattan, New York
Terrorist Attacks Involving Vehicles and Pedestrians Will Continue to Evolve
As terrorists find new ways to injure or kill to express their political ideas, such attacks will continue to evolve. Consequently, first responders will need to find other ways of preventing these attacks.
In recent years, terrorist incidents have been on the rise throughout Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, terrorists do not have to have particularly advanced skills to create havoc within a community. In fact, some of the most frightening incidents have occurred from terrorists who use a minimal number of tools.
The use of vehicles as battering rams has become a popular tactic among terrorists because this type of attack is relatively inexpensive and injures or kills a large number of people quickly. Also, individuals walking on the street are instant targets with few defenses.
The Prevention of Terrorist Attacks Involving Vehicles Must Become a Priority
Preventing these attacks must become a matter of great importance for city planners. For several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has worked to reduce the possibility of terrorists using vehicles to hurt pedestrians.
Similarly, law enforcement must work to prevent and eliminate these horrific incidents in the future.