1/29/2024Speed Camera Vigilantes Gain Global Fame
Fleximan inspires widespread anti-photo radar actions in Italy, France and Canada.
By Richard Diamond/Staff Reports
Attacks on automated ticketing machines are drawing global headlines and inspiring copycats. In Italy, the angle-grinder-wielding vigilante called "Fleximan" -- so named after Flex brand power tools -- continued his work despite an all-out police effort to find the culprit and protect their valuable photo radar network.
The manhunt failed to dissuade the anonymous vigilante from cutting down the speed camera on Rio Sanguinario in Borrello -- one of several disabled over the course of 48 hours. In Guidizzolo, a pole-mounted speed camera was cut down and thrown into a canal. In Bolano, three speed cameras were knocked over. The camera in Vezzano Ligure had just been installed on Friday and was only able to generate a handful of tickets before it was uprooted. Additional automated ticketing machines fell on the Via Modena in Correggio, in Ramazzano on Strada Tiberina Nord, on Via Cavata in Carpi, on Via Dismano near Osteria, on Strada Statale 330 in Bottagna, on Strada Statale 476 in Ruffano and Strada Provinciale 10 in Val di Vara. A red light camera in Mapello was cut down before it was able to issue its first automated ticket. On Sunday, the speed camera on Via Udine in Santo Stefano di Cadore was unbolted from the ground and kicked over.
Photo radar devices also fell in France last week. Vigilantes in Osses on Saturday pushed the large, mobile speed camera on the RD918 onto a mountain trail far from the road, eliminating its ability to issue automated tickets. On Friday, a large group of farmers used a forklift to cover a pair of pole-mounted speed cameras on the RD6015 in Saint-Romain-de-Colbosc and Bolbec from bottom to top with a tower of old tires. On Thursday, a pair of speed cameras RN88 at Lescure d'Albigeois were covered in a white tarp while another pair near the Pont de Cantepau were coverd in green and black plastic. In Moselle on Wednesday, multiple cameras throughout the region were covered in tractor tires. Young farmers with the group JA57 explained their actions with roadside banners that read, "The agricultural revolution is on the move, help us" and "No revenue, no speed camera tickets." In Bastia on Saturday, young farmers with the group JA20 knocked over the speed cameras along the sea front, tagging them with pink spraypaint.
On Sunday, the speed camera on the RD999 in Aigues-Mortes was torched. On the same day, vigilantes toppled and burned a pair of speed cameras on the RD979 in Saint-Laurent d'Aigouze. In Saint-Eustache-la-Foret on Saturday, the speed cameras on the RD6015 were set on fire. On Thusday, white spraypaint blinded the speed camera on the RD1 in Mont-de-Marsan. On Tuesday, the speed caemra on the RD989 in Vireux-Wallerand was similarly covered in white spraypaint. In Le Nouvion-en-Thierache, the speed camera on the RD1043 was knocked over into a ditch.
Vigilantes in Ottawa, Canada, blinded the recently installed speed camera on Riverside Drive with blue spraypaint last week.