11/22/2021Yellow Vest Movement Returns To Destroy Speed Cameras In France
Yellow Vest movement vigilantes announced their return in France. Speed cameras also taken out in Germany and Italy last week.
By Richard Diamond/Staff Reports
The Yellow Vest movement announced its return in France last week. Throughout 2019, the movement had destroyed or disabled three quarters of the nation's speed cameras, costing the government an estimated 360 million euros (US $400 million) in damages and lost profit. In 2020, many of the vigilantes shifted focus to protest the travel restrictions and lockdown measures the government of President Emmanuel Macron imposed in response to Covid-19. The Yellow Vest proponents argued these policies were a draconian overreaction to the situation. On Wednesday, the movement's renewed attention toward automated ticketing machines began with the use of black spraypaint to disable the speed cameras on the RD83 in Menoncourt and the RD465 in Chaux. The devices had the message "GJ return" (using the French initials for Yellow Vest) added to claim responsibility. Also on Wednesday, the speed camera on the RD981 in Arnay-le-Duc was blinded with yellow spraypaint.
On Saturday, the pole-mounted "turret" speed camera on the RD1006 in Saint-Jean-de-Couz was destroyed by fire, even though the device had just been replaced a few days earlier. This marked the fifth such attack along the same road in the past two months. Burning tires were also used to destroy the speed camera on the A31 near Maxeville on Saturday.
In Guadeloupe, an archipelago in the Caribbean, vigilantes on Saturday torched speed cameras in Capesterre Belle-eau and Saint-Francois during protests over the government's "health pass" requirements. On the Caribbean island of Martinique, vigilantes set fire to the turret speed camera on the RN1 in Le Lamentin on Monday, October 14.
Vigilantes in Udine, Italy, on Saturday decapitated the speed camera on the Via Bariglaria and helped themselves to the electronic equipment inside. In Hahnbach, Germany, on Friday, a 29-year-old man swiped the portable speed camera that had been issuing tickets on Staatsstrasse 2120, placing the device in his trunk. Because there were automated ticketing employees nearby at the time, police were able to catch up to the driver, whom police confirmed had not been speeding. On Tuesday, police in Kassel were so enraged by a man who expressed disrespect toward a speed camera that they issued a press release about it. A 33-year-old motorist displayed his middle finger toward the speed camera on Leipziger Strasse, so a nearby squad car was dispatched to pull him over and charge him.