And again... State Capitol bollards wreck another car _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Security bollards are a part of the new Capitol parking system...lowering when a car with a valid permit is scanned and rising again after the vehicle has moved past. Several accidents involving the security barriers have occurred since the start of the Legislative session.

Another motorist’s car wrecked against the State Capitol security bollards Tuesday.

It’s at least the 16th such incident since the devices became operational in April.

Nearly all the mishaps have been attributed to driver error by the state. One insurance claim has been paid because of the security system malfunctioned. The Office of Risk Management paid out $7,874 for vehicle repairs, according to the state Division of Administration.

In Tuesday’s incident, the driver — a House legislative analyst — was not injured, but his 2010 Toyota “was damaged pretty good,” State Police Lt. J.B. Slaton said.

Bollards are metal barriers designed to keep unauthorized vehicles off the parking lots closest to the Capitol. Those with authorized entry have an access card that electronically triggers bollards to go down to let one vehicle pass and then quickly go back up to prevent another car from coming into the parking lots. A green light lets the driver know when it is safe to go, and a red light comes on when it’s not.

“It was a clear cut case of piggybacking,” Slaton said, as the driver attempted to follow another vehicle out. “The bollards were operating properly.”

The incident occurred at the Third Street bollard station on the back side of the Capitol, he said.

Most other bollard stations are currently inoperable because of a continuing multi-million dollar Capitol security upgrade, traffic realignment and parking lot resurfacing project.

The first accident occurred the day the 2015 legislative session opened. Drivers caught by the bollards have included a state legislator, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff and legislative employees. Prior to Tuesday, the last incident happened in early October.

The state has a one year warranty on the security bollards. Any time there is a malfunction the contractor is required to come back and service the system.

Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage from the State Capitol, follow Louisiana politics at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/