8/21/2008Maryland, UK Speed Cameras Vandalized, Destroyed
Vigilantes destroy or damage speed cameras in Maryland and Somerset, UK.
Vigilantes have taken action against speed cameras in Maryland and the UK this month. According to the Gaithersburg, Maryland Gazette, four Montgomery County speed cameras have been vandalized in the past several weeks. Officials would only confirm that a camera stationed at Georgia Avenue the between King William Drive and Queen Mary Drive in Olney had suffered damage. Police learned of the attack on the morning of August 1.
County police prefer to withhold all other facts regarding the damaged cameras, even going so far as to refuse to identify the locations of the attacks. Although media reports of damaged cameras in the US are rare, at least fourteen attacks have taken place in the county in the fifteen months since the photo radar program began.
In June, a red light camera in Santa Maria, California was attacked. Other recent, reported incidents involved the shooting of a camera in Tennessee in November and the smashing of a control box in California last August. In 2006, the German company Traffipax had to lock down its speed cameras with chains after one of the devices was stolen in Girard, Ohio. The only other reported incident of a camera being bent happened this January in New South Wales, Australia. According to a witness, the device had been used "to do chin ups."
In the UK, Avon and Somerset Police reported vigilantes burned a speed camera on the A37 Ilchester Road near Yeovil last Thursday. A burning tire was used to destroy the £45,000 (US $90,000) automated ticketing machine.