A man raises the boom at a toll plaza. A man raises the boom at a toll plaza.

Motorists find way to defeat toll plaza tire spikes

If the barrier is raised rather than pushed, the spikes don't operate

A tire-popping system was put into operation at a México state toll plaza less than a week ago but motorists have already found a way to evade it despite not paying the toll.

Some motorists discovered they were able to prevent the activation of the automated traffic spike system at the Las Américas toll plaza in Ecatepec by getting out of their vehicles and manually lifting the boom barriers.

Motorcyclists have also reportedly continued to pass through unimpeded despite not paying the toll by avoiding all contact with the boom.

For drivers of cars, buses and trucks, “the secret is to not push the barrier [with your vehicle],” shouted one scofflaw late last week, according to the newspaper El Universal.

The man works as a ticket collector on a bus but now has the added responsibility of alighting at the toll plaza and lifting up the barrier with his hands, the newspaper said.

A runaway semi-trailer totalled his car, but the driver got away unscathed.


El Universal witnessed three other motorists lifting the boom gates so they could pass through without paying the toll and without having their vehicles’ tires punctured, as happened to a semi-trailer last Tuesday.

One of the toll evaders was a police officer, the newspaper said. It reported that an officer got out of his car and demanded he be let through for free. But a toll plaza employee refused to lift the barrier even though the officer showed her his badge and gun.

The policeman proceeded to lift the gate with his hands and his vehicle and seven others subsequently passed through the toll plaza without paying.

Another man’s attempt to avoid paying at the same plaza may have saved his life. On January 9, before the tire-spike system began operating at the Las Américas toll plaza, a man got out of his car to manually open the boom gate.

Seconds later, a semi-trailer narrowly missed him as it passed through the plaza at high speed. The truck smashed into the man’s car, pushing it down the road well past the toll gate where it had stopped, footage posted to social media showed.

El Universal reported that the man’s car was destroyed in the collision. The truck driver, whose vehicle’s brakes apparently failed, was uninjured. It was unclear whether the man who opened the toll gate was fined, El Universal said.

With reports from El Universal 

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