A Cowichan Valley man is warning users of backroads in the area after coming across a homemade spike strip while he was out for a ride on his ATV.
The man, who asked not to be named, took his eight-year-old daughter for a ride up Hill 60 off Highway 18 on Thursday morning. They were puttering along slowly when something caught his eye.
It turned out to be a homemade spike belt, buried about an inch and a half under the gravel. It consisted of thick plastic, with three-inch metal spikes driven through it.
“I’m not sure who would do this or what their motivation is,” he said.
The belt was half-buried when the man found it, and it looked like someone had already driven over it. He threw it in the bush, then retrieved it on the way back.
It’s not hard to imagine how much harm a spike strip could cause to vehicles and their operators.
“Flattening tires on trucks causes headaches,” the man commented. “Blowing the tires on a motorbike or ATV could prove deadly.”
This isn’t the first report of dangerous behaviour on the backroads recently. Someone has been falling trees across ATV trails not far from where the spike belt was found, and golf balls with spikes through them have been found on logging roads near Ladysmith.
The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP expressed their thanks to the man for removing the spike belt, and have investigated the situation along with road maintenance partners.
“This spike belt could have been dangerous to the public, and we appreciate the actions he took to keep people safe,” said Const. Warren Kongus of the North Cowichan/Duncan Traffic and Community Enforcement Unit. “We are lucky to have a good community here who look out for each other.”
Forest service roads are open to the public unless gates are in place, the police added. Anyone who puts road users at risk could be held liable for damage or injuries in court.
Anyone with information about this incident or future safety concern is asked to call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.cowichancrimestoppers.com