3/28/2007Germans Rise in Opposition to Speed Cameras
German motorists have begun rising up against government use of speed cameras.
A vigilante resistance movement is hindering the German government's efforts to increase revenue through the use of speed cameras. Despite the use of extreme tactics, police have only been able to catch a handful of the motorists responsible for the uprising, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.
In Osterode, a motorist disgusted by the underposted 70km/h (43 MPH) speed limit ripped out every speed limit sign on the B243 and tossed them into a ditch. Upset police had to cancel fines worth thousands of euros last month. Another motorist successfully destroyed a Harz speed camera by setting it on fire. In Goettingen, a vigilante took the time to remove and run off with an entire, working speed camera assembly. Another camera in Kassel was stolen. Police have no idea who was responsible for any of these attacks.
In other cases, a handful of anti-camera activists have been identified. One 75-year-old retiree who had been convicted of shooting speed cameras in Fulda was later arrested for throwing stones at a camera in Goslar. A 22-year-old harassed Peine police by covering his license plate and speeding past ticket cameras with his middle finger extended. He was later identified.
On the A44 near Kassel, a 19-year-old smashed a replacement speed camera with an ax and then set the device on fire. Police used DNA evidence from blood at the scene to convict the man after interrogating 140 motorists.
The Hesse state makes more than a million euros in annual profit from speed cameras.