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8/10/2008
UK: Swindon Speed Camera Scorched
Speed camera torched in Swindon, UK as local officials consider dropping speed camera program entirely.

Peter Greenhalgh
Vigilantes torched a speed camera in Swindon, UK last Saturday. The 2am attack took out a temporary speed camera on the A419 near Blunsdon that had been put in place to ticket motorists in a construction area where the speed limit had been lowered. The latest attack followed the May 31 destruction of a camera on the A345 and comes as the borough is considering eliminating speed cameras on its own.

Five attacks in the past six years have put a dent in the £2,704,800 (US $5,409,600) in profit the devices have generated with 62,588 tickets issued. Because this profit is sent directly to the UK treasury, Swindon Borough Council officials are questioning whether continuing the program makes sense. The cabinet member for transport, Councilor Peter Greenhalgh, suggested that Swindon could become the first jurisdiction to pull out of a speed camera partnership. In July, BBC's Top Gear responded swiftly to the proposal.

"This week, Britain got a new motoring hero... Councilor Peter Greenhalgh from Swindon Borough Council," said host Jeremy Clarkson. "He says it's a blatant tax on motorists and he's getting rid of every speed camera in Swindon."

After an ovation from the studio audience, the show's hosts offered Greenhalgh the Top Gear Trophy of Excellence for Service to Common Sense and the Throne of Gratitude.

Source: Speed camera set on fire (Swindon Advertiser (UK), 8/5/2008)

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