This is how it works: Innocent passersby drive their cars unharmed. But when a fugitive, who is most likely driving recklessly, passes over the black plastic strip, a police officer can activate the spikes with a remote control, instantly slashing the fugitive's tires. The fugitive is then forced to stop.
The activated road spikes.
The strips are thin enough that they are barely noticeable, officials who have tested the new device say.
"If I wasn't looking for it, I probably wouldn't have really noticed it was there," says Officer Brent Carter of the South Sacramento California Highway Patrol.
The spikes are hollow to allow for a slow deflation rather than a blowout. Each strip costs about $13,000.