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Truck nuts - obscene or free speech?May 8, 2012 @ 3:18 am (Updated: 3:35 am - 5/8/12 )
For the second time in a year, a motorist has been ticketed in South Carolina for displaying a replica of testicles on a vehicle.
I first saw "truck nuts" on a vehicle when I attended my nephew's graduation in North Dakota. They're fake bull testicles made of plastic or metal that drivers hang on the back of their pickups to make a truck look more manly. I was told they've "been around for years" and no one else gave them a second glance.
Some find them funny, while others find them offensive, prompting at least three states to try to ban them.
In South Carolina, a Spartanburg County sheriff's deputy stopped a truck Sunday evening after noticing the truck nuts on the rear bumper. The incident report says the driver removed the display after being stopped but he was arrested for driving without a license. He was also given a warning ticket for having an obscene display.
That's happened before in South Carolina. Last July, a Bonneau woman was ticketed for having a similar display on the back of her truck. That case is to go to trial in municipal court, but it's been delayed three times.
The most recent case in South Carolina is fueling debate over whether the car decorations (I'm trying not to write truck nuts again) violate state indecency laws and if attempting to regulate them infringes on freedom of speech.
In the past, lawmakers in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Florida have proposed legislation to ban these types of decals and other explicit bumper stickers.
By LINDA THOMAS
AP contributed to this report
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