Police are appealing for information after two car mats studded with nails were deliberately left on a north road which has been the location of two fatal crashes in the last four months.
The mats were discovered on Saturday night on the A99 in Caithness.
Last night a local councillor said the action endangered lives and the culprit knew the potential consequences.
Police said the nails were placed on the road between 7.55pm and 8.15pm on a stretch south of Wick between Hempriggs Straight and Thrumster.
They urged people to get in contact if they have any information or know who was responsible.
A spokeswoman said: “Thankfully no vehicles drove over them, but the consequences could have been serious.”
Councillor Raymond Bremner reported the matter to police and also trunk road operator Bear Scotland after it was highlighted on social media.
He said: “It is really difficult to understand the mindset of people who would want to endanger the lives of others by doing this.
“Whoever did this knew what they were doing and, worse than that, knew the potential consequences.
“There may be folks out there in our local community who may suspect who may have done this and I would appeal to them to let the authorities know.”
He added: “There have been serious concerns about the safety of our roads given the number of accidents and fatalities that we have been aware of over the past period of time. To commit an act like this compromises the safety of road users.”
Mr Bremner praised those who cleared the mats from the road and who also highlighted the issue on social media.
He plans to raise the matter again when police report on their attendance at road accidents at a forthcoming Highland Council Caithness area committee.
He added: “I’d also encourage anyone who comes across these issues to immediately report it to Police Scotland and Bear Scotland who will attend to it immediately.”
The incident was also attacked by many people online.
One said: “Hope this person is caught and punished. They want the book thrown at them. This could have had disastrous consequences (involving) an ambulance, police car or a fire engine racing to an incident.”
Another said: “Madness. It seems this was intended for someone travelling at a certain time on this road. Absolutely crazy. It could have been a young woman or elderly person going over this.”
And another said: “Gives me a horrible feeling in my stomach the damage that could have caused. So scary.”
Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland north west network manager, said a full inspection was done on the road after the matter was reported.
Mr Bremner has previously called for a review of accidents on the road after two fatal accidents.
Last month, a 61-year-old man died on the A99 following a one-vehicle crash near Lybster.
Philip Reynolds Latham was driving on the Wick to Latheron road when his silver Ford Mondeo estate crashed into a wall just past the entrance to Remiggy Farm.
Mr Latham, from Dunbeath, was taken to Caithness General Hospital in Wick, but later died.
The road was closed for around five and a half hours while accident investigators examined the scene.
In September a 32-year-old man died following an accident on the A99 at Freswick Bridge in which a woman and two other children were injured.
Garry Aikman died in Caithness General Hospital and a 26-year-old woman and a three-month-old baby girl were also taken to hospital with serious injuries.
A three-year-old girl and two boys, aged six and eight, were also admitted for treatment with minor injuries.