Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Ancient weapons endanger drivers on Texas freeway – Watch out!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Ancient Roman caltrop. Photo: User:Bullenwächter on

Just when you thought folks couldn’t get much worse, a person or persons in Texas are using a modern reconstruction of an ancient weapon to mess up drivers in Texas’ Smith County. Police have been finding dozens of “caltrops” strewn along Interstate 20, about 100 miles east of Dallas.

Says internet resource Wikipedia, a caltrop is “made up of two or more sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always points upward from a stable base (for example, a tetrahedron). Historically, caltrops were part of defenses that served to slow the advance of troops, especially horses, chariots, and war elephants, and were particularly effective against the soft feet of camels.”

In the current Texas nastiness, the caltrops are being fabricated of rebar, as is used in concrete work. Earlier this month, more than 30 of them were found on the interstate in just a week. This week, local news organizations report more of the tire-deflating devices were found. It’s particularly disconcerting to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. They posted this information on their Facebook page: “This device is a tire deflation device and is a prohibited weapon by the Texas Penal Code. A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells a tire deflation device. This offense is a state jail felony.”

The caltrops are about three inches in size. Someone went to a lot of effort to make them: They are welded and sharpened at each point, then painted black. Apparently there’s little that a motorist can do to protect themselves against these spiteful tools. The highway department has increased highway cleaning to try and scoop up any new caltrop placements. Aside from that, there’s little to be done, other than avoiding that stretch of roadway.



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Sharon B
2 years ago

Super punishment laws should be implemented for those who are throwing these dangerous things on the road. I can see a death caused by overturned RVs due to these things.
We are in the worst hate crisis ever seen.

2 years ago

It will be nice to soon read about maximum jail sentences imposed on the person/people performing such malicious deeds.

2 years ago

A bit off topic, but conjured memories of Vietnam. The insurgents, otherwise known as locals or VC, used same device to disable our jeeps and trucks. Is it possible there is an insurgency brewing amongst Texas locals?

Jeff J
2 years ago

I live along the stretch of highway I-20 mentioned in the article. I have seen the cars with flattened tires and the police cars cleaning up the caltrops. The highways and exits involved are Highway 69 in Lindale, Texas to Highway 314 in Van, Texas. This is about a 15-mile stretch of I-20. The caltrops have predominately been placed on the on and off ramps to those highways. I strongly suggest you avoid this section of I-20 until this is cleared up. These caltrops can cause a blowout and a potential catastrophic accident especially for an RV being towed or motorhome..

Jerry Karlovich
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff J

Good to know. We recently camped at Tyler State Park and drove into Tyler for BBQ then left via the scenic road to Van unknowingly avoiding the area. I would hate to have been a victim of this.

2 years ago

What is the nastiness in Texas that the article mentions?

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Ummm … someone sabotaging tires and potentially vehicles and maybe even people’s lives? One definition of “nasty” is “extremely hazardous or harmful.” So I think that what they’re doing qualifies as “nasty.” —Diane at

2 years ago

The wild west rides again – pure insanity!!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Just another example of “American exceptualism “!

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago
Reply to  PGR

exceptualism? no such thing.

Cheryl Bacon
2 years ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

I was going to say the same thing lol. If someone is going out of their way to to cause a riff, they should at least know how to spell the words they want 😉

2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Shades of Mad Max…

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