12/22/2008Belgium: Hundreds of Speed Cameras Destroyed
In Belgium, 412 out of 1263 speed cameras have been damaged or disabled since 2004.
Nearly one-third of the speed cameras deployed in Belgium have been taken out of service since 2004. The De Zondag newspaper reports that of the country's 1015 speed cameras and 248 red light cameras, a total of 412 have been knocked out of commission either through accidents or acts of sabotage. In Antwerp, 118 cameras have been damaged; in Flemish Brabant, 97; in Limburg, 81; in East Flanders, 67; and in West Flanders, 49 no longer work.
Officials estimate that vigilantes were responsible for at least half of the destruction -- including cameras that were stolen, set on fire and knocked over. Occasionally, the destruction has been unintentional. Some of the cameras have been rammed by drunk drivers while others suffered electrical failure on their own.
Despite the unfavorable public reception for the ticketing devices, the Belgian government will install 56 new freeway speed cameras and 25 red light cameras during the current fiscal year.