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Eliminating tailgating at Wits
November 2018, Access Control & Identity Management

Wits University is a public institution with five faculties, 33 schools, 30 service departments, 17 residence halls, all spread over 400 acres. The institution offers 3610 courses and houses approximately 37 000 students and 6000 staff members with at least 10 000 vehicles that pass through its gates each day.

The university has 24-hour CCTV coverage and security officers on patrol. Mobile vehicle patrols are also conducted onsite to ensure that there is safety and security of Wits’ staff, students and visitors on the campus.

On campus, the university has a card swipe system to assist in controlling access. In a recent security upgrade project, the institution decided to install 18 new Turnstar Velocity automatic high-speed vehicle barriers at the busy Yale Road North and Yale Road South entrances.

Fitted with a 3-metre arm, the Velocity barriers open in just 1 second, ensuring that traffic flow is maximised, whilst still providing a high level of security. The exit booms have a strict interlock feature whereby two booms are interlinked to prevent tailgating. “In essence, a vehicle passes under the first traffic barrier and then has to wait until it lowers before the second barrier is lifted for final exit from the campus,” says Craig Sacks, MD of Turnstar.

The Turnstar Velocity industrial vehicle barriers at Wits University are manufactured with white powder coated stainless steel cabinets and complementary powder coated blue tops. The vehicle barriers come with four adjustable raise and lower speed settings, which provide seamless control as well as dynamic braking and gentle stop.

The intelligent collision detection and mid-cycle auto-reverse functions are just two of the safety features that make this product desirable. Other built-in standard safety features include a dual channel loop detector and an interface on the connection of an infrared beam system.

In the event that there is a power outage, the system has a built-in 7 Ah battery backup with battery protection and it can also operate on solar power. Effortless manual override also allows security officers to lift and lower the barrier in the event of a power failure and battery exhaustion.

“Not only does the Velocity offer Wits University a seamless physical access control solution, but it is also built for longevity. By eliminating the motor rear-mounted brake and clutch, and removing the need for proximity sensors or microswitches for positioning, we have drastically reduced the cost and time required for maintenance,” says Sacks.

For more information contact Turnstar Systems, +27 11 786 1633,,

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