ProtectUK publication date
The use of vehicles as a weapon remains a realistic possibility, amongst other forms of attack covered later in this section. Vehicles are widely available and easy to use with devastating effect. Consequently, driving a vehicle into a queue or crowd is a low complexity attack that is easy to initiate.

As a result, the terrorist may tend to avoid obstacles, including relatively unsubstantial ones, for fear of rendering the vehicle unusable and bringing the attack to a premature end. 

Safety arrangements employed at the entrances to premises or events can include managing hygiene measures, and general security procedures. This can lead to queues of people building up in vulnerable areas.


Cars in traffic


To minimise the risk to queues of people, consider these practical and achievable steps:

  • Publish information about entry procedures, enabling people to prepare in advance and know what to expect.

  • Create an efficient entry procedure that will enhance the customer experience and enable people to enter more quickly.

  • Ensure staff are trained in all aspects of the entry procedure and are motivated to support and encourage people.

  • Staff should be vigilant and be trained in how to respond to an incident.

  • Queues should not be positioned near live traffic i.e. roads. If they have to be, position away from the kerb edge.

  • Positioning queues near or in between street furniture can provide some protection (e.g. bus stops, signage posts, seating, telephone boxes, fences, walls, gates and trees).

  • Queue routes should be planned for areas where vehicles don't normally have access, ideally within the curtilage of the site.

  • Close off vehicle access to shared spaces when queues are present.

  • In car parks, create a pedestrian safety zone by preventing or limiting vehicle parking next to queues of people.

  • Consider enforcing, 'no parking' as far away from the queues as possible with traffic cones, temporary pedestrian rails or more robust barriers.

  • Consider utilising staff vehicles that will remain in position throughout the event to create a sterile area – it is important that any vehicles parked nearby are not identifiable as staff vehicles.

  • Where possible, orientate the queues so people can see hazards approaching and at a right angles to potential vehicle attack routes.

For further information: NPSA and NaCTSO Advice Note - Protecting pedestrian queues 

Vehicle as a Weapon
Terrorist threat
publicly accessible places