State Capitol bollards damage staff attorney's Jeep; security device has damaged 15 vehicles this year _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.

It’s happened again. The security bollards at the State Capitol claimed another vehicle — the 15th incident of record.

The wreck occurred early Thursday evening as Louisiana Senate staff attorney Martha Hess was leaving the Capitol parking lot, State Police Lt. J.B. Slaton said.

Slaton said the accident report had not been filed by public safety officers with details of what happened.

“I was told the bollards were functioning properly,” Slaton said.

Slaton said Hess was not injured, but her 2001 Jeep SUV was damaged.

Hess was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.

Bollards are 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 go up after it passes. A green light lets the driver know when it is safe to go, and a red light comes on when it’s not.

The bollards were part of a Capitol security upgrade project. They became operational in April. Since then, there’s been a series of accidents. The first involved a state legislator, and the most recent prior to Thursday’s involved Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff.

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