By Robert Frank
Montreal police and their counterparts elsewhere in the province are on the lookout for trucks equipped with long, dangerous wheel nuts that can shred small cars and seriously injure pedestrians.
Though illegal, the lugs—known as scythed chariot wheel nuts—are easily purchased online and increasingly popular on trucks that ply Montreal’s streets and highways. They take their name from the knives that Roman warriors used to attach to the wheels of their chariots to cut down enemy infantry, like the ones seen in the movie classic Ben Hur.
Scythed chariot wheel nuts serve no mechanical purpose. Their only use is aggressive: to harry other motorists sharing the road.
According to Audrey Chaput of Transport Quebec, the law prohibits sharp objects from protruding from a motor vehicle that could cause a risk.
“Any police officer, Sûreté du Québec or municipal can pull over a truck and order that it be taken to an inspection centre,” Montreal Police Constable François Lachapelle of Station 5 told The Suburban.
“I would certainly do so,” he said.
“Articles 42 and 144 of the Highway Code are clear: those nuts are illegal. Failure to comply could entail a $350 fine plus a surcharge to the owner of the truck.”
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