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Item hanging from truck leads to ticket in S.C.

Speeding or running a stop sign may not be the only reason for getting pulled over in Irmo, South Carolina. Recently, motorists are recommended to take a look at their vehicles to ensure that any paraphernalia such as bummer stickers or other objects that may be interpreted as offensive are not out in the open for all to view. Unfortunately, for one man this suggestion came a little too late.

A sheriff's deputy in South Carolina has issued a traffic citation to a driver for violating a state law that makes it illegal to operate a vehicle that displays any words, pictures or objects that one could construe as obscene or indecent.

In this case, the deputy from the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office pulled over a 31-year-old driver after noticing what appeared to be an anatomically correct model of a male body part hanging from the hitch of his truck. The police report described the item as a replica of testicles that hung clearly in the view of other drivers.

While the man was pulled over, he told the deputy that his car was properly registered and carried valid insurance, but that he had moved to the United States six months ago and did not hold a driver's license from any state. He received a citation for the display but was arrested for not having a license. He had to remove the replica of the body part before he could call someone to remove the truck.

According to the state law, a law enforcement officer can consider any object, such as a bumper sticker, obscene if it offensively describes or depicts parts of the human body. Additionally, an item can be considered offensive if it also does not have a value in terms of science, politics, literature or the arts.

This man is not the first person cited for violating this law. A 65-year-old woman currently has a case pending in court. She is fighting a ticket, which carries a $445 fine, that she received for displaying an object bearing the trademark name "TruckNutz" on her pickup truck. In the case, now delayed three times in the courts, the woman claims the state has violated her free speech rights.

Source: The Christian Post, "South Carolina Truck Testicles Get Driver Arrested," Myles Collier, May 9, 2012

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