11/4/2006Australia: Government Fines Man $853 for Protesting Camera Trap
Australian police fine a man $853 for protesting a speed camera trap.
The Perth, West Australia, Magistrates Court yesterday found James Bissaker, 32, guilty of obstructing police and fined him $853.70 AUD. Bissaker's crime was to warn his fellow motorists on March 21 that there was an upcoming speed camera trap. Bissaker held a homemade warning sign ahead of the trap on Grantham Street in Wembley near his home.
Police immediately arrested Bissaker, handcuffed and strip-searched him. Although Bissaker testified that he did not resist the arrest, police testified that the multiple bruises Bissaker suffered were not inflicted by the officers on the scene, but Bisskaer running his own head into a fence. Police Superintendent Duane Bell also suggested that Bissaker's sign caused motorists to swerve into children.
"The difference [is] this idiot was standing there with a sign that was blocking the view of drivers, causing them to swerve dangerously close to children who are crossing the road," Bell told an Australian radio station.
Bissaker is referred to as the "Multanova Martyr" locally, after the brand of speed camera used by police. Bissaker believes the devices are used solely to raise revenue.