Spike strip

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A U.S. Army soldier deploying a spike strip at a vehicle checkpoint in Iraq

A spike strip (also known as traffic spikes, tire shredders, one-way traffic treadles, stingers, stop sticks, a stinger in police slang, and formally known as a tire deflation device) is a device used to impede or stop the movement of wheeled vehicles by puncturing their tires. Generally, the strip is composed of a collection of 35 to 75 mm (1.5 to 3 inches) long metal barbs, teeth or spikes pointing upward. The barbs are designed to puncture and flatten tires when a vehicle is driven over them. The barbs may be hollow or solid. Hollow barbs are designed to become embedded in the tires and allow air to escape at a steady pace in an attempt to reduce the risk of the driver crashing into oncoming traffic or the surroundings. It was co-invented by Donald Kilgrow, a retired Utah Highway Patrol trooper, along with a design engineer.[1]

In the United States, five officers were killed deploying spike strips in 2011 alone. Dallas, Texas police are among those banned from using them, as a result of the hazards.[2]

Remotely deployable spike strips have been invented to reduce the danger to police officers deploying them.[3] Spike strips are also built into some parking barriers to control traffic flow.

Homemade spike strips, cheaply constructed using a steel pipe and household nails, were banned in New South Wales in 2003 after being used against a police vehicle. John Watkins, a member of New South Wales Legislative Assembly, stated they would be added to the New South Wales prohibited weapons list.[4]

See also[edit]