Following the vehicle terror attacks in Barcelona, Spain this week, popular U.S. tourist destinations are taking extra precautions. In an effort to protect pedestrians, the city of Laguna Beach, CA is setting up barriers to prevent cars from plowing into crowds.
“We’ll place K-Rail anywhere there’s not a car because the cars are a natural barrier," Laguna Beach Police Chief Laura Farinella explained. "We want to make sure we protect everybody."
In the past year, cars and trucks have been terrorists' weapons of choice. In Nice, France, a terrorist drove a 19-ton truck straight into a Christmas market, killing 82 people. A similar attack took place in Berlin, Germany, where a terrorist killed another 12 people behind the wheel. In Thursday's attack in Barcelona, the truck driver killed 14 people and injured dozens others.
Laguna Beach's precautions, however, can also presumably be a response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA, where last weekend a white nationalist drove his car into a group of counter protesters and killed a young woman. On Saturday, America First! is planning an anti-illegal immigration rally in Laguna Beach, and the city is expecting counter protesters as well. The police are planning to keep them a fair distance away from one another, and the town's mayor has warned locals to steer clear of the protests if they can.
Laguna Beach draws about 6 million visitors every year. Young people flock to the beaches, bars, and restaurants, etc. The city can't be blamed for wanting to avoid a tragedy that would force its joyous nightlife to be replaced by candlelight vigils.
Will other major U.S. destinations follow suit?