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France, Germany: Speed Limits Rise, Cameras Burn
France retreats on lowered speed limits. Photo radar units were smashed and burned in France and Germany last week.

Red spraypainted speed camera
The total cost of the speed camera resistance in France continues to rise. Tensions flared last July after the government reduced the speed limit to 80km/h (50 MPH) on all secondary roads. President Emmanuel Macron recently announced local authorities would be able to restore the 90km/h (56 MPH) limit on some roads, but the damage from the pushback has already been done.

According to official figures reported by the experts at Radars Auto, 93 percent of the speed cameras in France were functional in January 2018. By December, the readiness rate had plunged to 73 percent. The cost to repair the disabled devices rose from 6.8 million euros (US $7.6 million) in 2016 to 23 million euros (US $26 million) last year. This cost came in addition to the $714 million in profits that were lost while the cameras were out of service. Officials realized that, instead of raising net revenue by lowering the speed limit, as they hoped, camera income plunged because of the vigilante action.

Vigilantes kept up their work last week. On Sunday, the speed camera on the RN12 in Lecousse was destroyed by fire. The same fate befell the speed camera on the D155 in Saint-Meloir-des-Ondes on Friday -- one of the few in the department that still worked. In Brusvily, the speed camera on the RD766 was destroyed with burning tires on Tuesday. On May 18, the speed camera on the A13 in Porcheville was torched. The next day, the frequently attacked speed camera in Chenedolle was blinded with a thick coat of red paint.

On May 17, an unidentified bicyclist in Oberhausen, Germany, passed by a mobile speed camera trap on Elpenbachstrasse and decided to kick over the radar unit. Local police estimated the damage at 1000 euros (US $1100).

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