LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A driver plowed his car into a crowd in New York’s Times Square, killing a young woman and injuring nearly two dozen people. Investigators said the tragedy could have been a lot worse if not for one Southern California company that makes the steel security barriers that stopped the careening Honda.

Those bollards were designed and manufactured by Calpipe Security Bollards based in Compton. They were installed in late 2016.

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“Vehicles are weapons of mass destruction no matter what the motive was,”said pedestrian safety expert Rob Reiter.

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He said the steel posts can stop a 50,000-pound truck going at 50 mph, as shown in a crash test.

Those bollards can be found all over the world, including on the Santa Monica Pier.

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“The difference between being safe and not safe is really not that much,” Reiter said. “Doing things right is always better before rather than after.”