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1/25/2009
UK and French Vigilantes Continue Attacks on Speed Cameras
French speed camera attacked six times in a year while UK speed camera disappears.

Painted Camera, La Depeche photo
On Monday a speed camera on Rayleigh Road in the town of Eastwood in Essex, England burned completely around 10pm. Vigilantes used gasoline-filled tires to fuel the blaze, according to the Echo newspaper. In the town of Horsham, the speed camera on the A264 at Slinfold disappeared around January 7, with only the device's pole left behind. According to the West Sussex County Times, Horsham police have been unable to identify the vigilantes who may be responsible.

Officials in the southwest of France are likewise facing increased resistance to the use of speed cameras. La Depeche reported that a vigilante on Thursday placed two gasoline-soaked tires around the base of a speed camera and one tire on top to incinerate the device. This marked the sixth time that the camera, located on the 964 near Gaillac in Tarn, had been burned since it was installed in April. So far, officials have spent 138,000 Euros (US $179,000) repairing and replacing this particular automated ticketing machine. Nearby in Lisle-sur-Tarn and Giroussens, vigilantes had burned three cameras on October 2 and a Saint Nauphary camera burned on October 12.

In Gers, the front of a Sainte-Christie speed camera was covered in beige paint. The same device last April had been painted red. In Jegun, a brand new camera was burned before officials even had a chance to issue a ticket. French police have no idea who might be responsible for these incidents, but they threaten to impose a 45,000 Euro (US $58,000) fine for burning a camera or a 7500 Euro (US $9700) fine for covering one in paint.



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