Drivers in The Netherlands Just Can’t Stop Crashing Into This Bollard
Since it was installed last year to keep cars from following behind buses and emergency vehicles, 50 cars have lost their game of Beat the Bollard.
Last year, local authorities installed an automatic rising bollard in The Hague, in The Netherlands, to prevent cars from following behind buses and emergency vehicles in their designated lane. The bollard can drop into the pavement, to allow buses and ambulances through, but then rise again to prevent other cars from following behind. However, according to Regio15, since it was installed in June, 2021, 50 cars have crashed into the bollard, trying to beat it or outsmart it.
When it first went up, drivers were crashing into it nearly everyday. There was a week in which 11 cars hit the bollard and, at one point, three cars crashed into it in just one day. For some reason, some drivers just can't stop hitting this bollard. Thankfully, no one has been seriously hurt from the crashes, with only a few passengers in the past year requiring minor medical attention afterward. However, whenever someone does hit the bollard, it usually wrecks their car. After all, it's a solid stainless steel pole, nearly a foot in diameter, that sticks up a few feet from the ground. Which is why most cars are totaled after losing a game of Beat the Bollard. And so far, the bollard is 50-0.
On Thursday, November 4, car number 50 hit the bollard. It was a white Toyota Corolla, whose driver told police that they tried to drive over the bollard, closely behind a bus, only for it to rise back up just in time to stop them. The whole front end was damaged—its front bumper was wrecked, its hood was popped open, and its headlights popped out. Thankfully, neither of the two passengers required any medical attention.
Automatic bollards have always ben tricky for arrogant, impatient drives that try to beat them. But this one in The Netherlands seems like a magnet for such drivers and it's unclear why. Incident rates are slowing down, but they're still shockingly high. Maybe local authorities can put up better signage to let drivers know the bollard is undefeated and it isn't going to lose anytime soon.
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