7/24/2017France, Germany, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, UK: Speed Cameras Attacked
Massive protest takes out 430 French speed cameras in a day, with other attacks taking place across Europe and Saudi Arabia.
A protest over cigarette taxes has disabled at least 430 speed cameras across France, France Bleu reported. On Friday, masked members of the group calling themselves "Angry Tobacconists" covered the automated ticketing machines with garbage bags and sign indicating their displeasure with the 10 euro (US $11.66) per pack tax. The incidents were spread out across several French departments. For example, a total of 15 out of 28 speed cameras in the Somme were covered, 15 in Aisne, a dozen were bagged in Moselle, and another 17 in Deux-Sevres.
In Doubs, France, vigilantes have taken out eighteen speed cameras since the beginning of the year, matching last year's pace when forty automated ticketing machines were disabled throughout the year. According to L'Est Republicain, police believe multiple individuals are responsible because of the varying techniques used in each attack. In Sanguinet last week Saturday, the technique was blue spraypaint, which crippled the photo radar device on the D652, Sud Ouest reported.
In Essen, Germany, vigilantes on July 13 smashed the windows of two Traffistar S350 speed cameras on the A40 near Frillendorf, according to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. Another pair of cameras were destroyed nearby in June. Officials quickly had the cameras repaired, as the devices make 70,000 euros (US $81,000) in profit each month.
In Latvia earlier this month, a man parked his motorcycle near a mobile speed camera that had been set up by Viktors Jurkovs, an employee of the local police department. The motorcyclist was using his cell phone to document what was going on, and when he approached Jurkovs, the police employee struck the motorcyclist (view video of incident). Local police investigated the incident and found the only thing that the officer did wrong was to park illegally.
In Kent, England, a speed camera failed to prevent an accident in which a black BMW sedan was destroyed by a speed camera warning sign in Sheerness on Tuesday, the Kent Messenger reported.
In Al Bahah, Saudi Arabia, vigilantes on Wednesday disabled a speed camera with red spraypaint. According to El Saa News, this was the first attack on a "Saher" automated ticketing machine since they were installed in the city.