It is probably one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Place a nail on the road, and set up shop ahead to wait for the inevitable punctured tires to show up.
That this trick is still being practiced freely on our streets, forcing commuters to stop by repair shops far more often than needed, says a lot about how ineffectual our traffic management is.
For more than ten years now, those who scatter the nails deliberately have got away scot free.
What is alarming is not that the commuters have to get their inner tubes or tires replaced more often, robbing them of time and money, but that this is a safety hazard that could end up with more serious consequences.
Unfortunately, these "nail robbers" have formed a network lately instead of working individually.
Now we have groups delivering inner tubes with a box of nails as a bonus. Workers at vehicle repair shops will scatter the nails happily, because the more vehicles they get to fix every day, the more money they are paid by their boss.
It has been reported that the city government started positioning volunteers in "sensitive" areas to help nail victims get their flat tires fixed for free. Obviously, this ruse has not worked.
Other local authorities have also announced several solutions. Many announcements, many resolutions, but not many results.
So the residents continue to suffer. Sometimes they have picked up the nails themselves, and sometimes, they have caught people in the act of dropping them. But they cannot keep doing this for long. They have other things to do, like earning a living.
So ten years on, the "highway robbers" are making merry. For how long? Ten, twenty years?
A government appointed task force with more authority than the citizen on the street should surely be able to stop this practice. So what's stopping the government from acting?