Anti-Tire Spike Bill Passes the Texas Senate
HIDALGO COUNTY - Tire spikes have been slowing down police pursuits in the Rio Grande Valley for some time now. But Texas Legislature is taking action, with the Senate recently passing a bill that outlaws these small and potentially deadly metal weapons.
"We have a piece of legislation that makes it illegal to have, to manufacture, sell or have in your possession these things here called caltrops," said Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Texas Senate District 27.
Caltrops or tire spikes are a small and ancient invention. They are made from nails or metal strips, with the sole purpose of popping a tire.
"Criminals use them effectively to throw on the highways to be able to keep the police from catching them," said Lucio.
"It's a unique problem for South Texas and it's more unique for the western part of Hidalgo County. I don't think we have seen this anywhere else in the county or anywhere else in the state," said Sheriff Lupe Trevino, Hidalgo County.
But currently police have only been able to arrest people seen using these spikes. This proposed bill allows police to arrest people who have these objects in their possession. Sheriff Trevino said the spikes are deadly weapons when used to pop tires.
"It's puts our officers, our deputies, our border patrol agents in jeopardy. Not only that, it also puts the public in harms way," said Trevino.
The tire spikes are costly for law enforcement too. Having to repair tires and damaged patrol vehicles can really hurt the already tight budgets of many local police departments.
"We need to obviously make sure that we have a law that prohibits ya know these caltrops from being in anybody's possession," said Lucio.
The bill will have to go through the Texas House next, but officials believe it will succeed.