vehicle search Technics and policy


When you are on duty, you might have to search for the vehicles coming in and out of the site. Before searching you should inform the driver if they require to search the vehicles to access the premises. If drive refuses for vehicle search you should note in your official notebook.

The organization should make vehicle search policies dependent on the company and goods produced. The company policy will guide you as well as provides authority for searching the vehicles.

The vehicles search policy contains the following things

  • Selecting vehicles for search
    • Random search to the vehicles entering the premises.
    • All the vehicles search while entering and exiting from the site
    • Specific vehicle types, for example, Delivery vehicles, and employees
    • Specific driver types, for example, unplanned visitors
  • Vehicles search location
    • vehicles that will access sensitive areas within the site are to be searched
  • Driver management during search
    • Remaining in the vehicle
    • Separated from vehicle
    • Separated from the vehicle, and kept from view of the search process
  • Level of detail 
    • Visual search for interior
    • Visual search for boot
    • A physical search of all compartments and cavities
    • Underside inspection
    • X-Ray of the entire vehicle
  • Refusal of search requests
    • Reporting requirements
    • Actions to take for example denial of entry or exit
  • Prohibited items
    • What to look for
    • What to do when prohibited items are found
  • PPE and search tools required
    • Personal safety equipment
    • Technologies and equipment

security staff should be aware of the site policy while conducting the search of the vehicle. The policy may find in the security control room or in your post.

Dealing with the refusal

If the driver refuses to search their vehicle you should know the process and take action according to the site policy. Depending on the organization and risk assessment in place you may deny to entry the vehicles or escalate the situation by informing the security supervisor or the control room. If the refusal happened when you enforcing the site policy should record the following things in your notebook.

  • Date, time and location
  • Circumstances of refusal 
    • The vehicle selected using search policy
    • Search requested due to suspicious activity etc.
  • The driver’s details
    • Name and ID
    • Appearance (A to H)
  • Vehicle details (SCRIM)
    • The stated reason for refusing a search
    • Escalation to supervisor
    • Immediate denial of access

The security staff should be confident in their decision making to enforce the site security policy.

Vehicle search areas

To carry out an effective vehicle search, a place should be defined and security staff must know the space that needs to maintain.

Designed the search area

When establishing the search bay the various factors should consider including;

  1. Violence
    • Explosive devices
      • Reinforced concrete walls surrounding individual search bays
      • Electronic countermeasures to jam detonating signals
      • Search bay located sufficient distance from the traffic holding point
      • No mobile phone use in the checkpoint
      • The minimal staff inside the search area at any time (reduce exposure to risk)
    • Vehicle rammings
      • chicanes to minimize straight-line access to the search area.
      • To control the search area, use the hostile vehicle bollards or barriers
  2. Health and safety
    • Exhaust fumes
    • Vehicle impact
    • Environmental exposure
    • Ventilation fans
    • Waiting vehicles turned off
    • PPE
      • Face masks
      • Hi-Visibility vests
    • Shaded search areas
    • Wind protection
  3. Type of traffic
    • Identifies the type of vehicles that will need to be searched and carefully maintain the space in the search bay.
    • Physical space between the search bay
    • Enough space to turn off the vehicle if reject to search.
  4. Volume of traffic
    • Number of search bays
    • Use of bypass lanes for non-searchable vehicles
    • The layout of the search bay approach,
    • method of diverting selected vehicles

Components of a vehicle search bay

  • Warning signs for approaching drivers
  • Entry lane
  • Entry point control barrier
  • Search area
  • Exit point control barrier
  • Exit lane
  • Driver holding area
  • Prohibited items temporary storage area

Avance Security Course

Basic security course


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