5/31/2009Australian Cops Block Speed Cameras, French, UK Vigilantes Destroy Them
West Australian police block speed cameras while vigilantes smash French and burn UK cameras.
Police in West Australia are demonstrating their belief that the purpose of speed cameras is more revenue than safety. The 5,700-member WA Police Union on Friday ordered an "industrial action" to coerce the state government into accepting the union demand for a fifteen-percent pay increase over the next three years. The action includes measures designed to cut heavily into the number of traffic citations issued.
"Members throughout the state overwhelmingly supported this action which would escalate unless the government agreed to further discussions on the union's reasonable claim," WA Police Union President-elect Russell Armstrong said in a statement. "Actions include no unauthorized overtime, full checks of vehicles and equipment before starting work, taking the paid 40-minute meal break and exercising constable discretionary powers and not issue infringement notices for minor offenses but to issue cautions."
Local media reports confirm that officers are also parking their police vehicles, emergency lights activated, near mobile speed camera cars providing clear warning to approaching motorists. During these "welfare checks" the officers carefully investigate whether the speed camera operator might be in need of any assistance and remain to ensure his safety. Union officials insist that none of these actions harm public safety, although they may reduce state government revenue.
Vigilantes in England are promoting more decisive action. Last Monday a speed camera on the A46 Laceby bypass in North East Lincolnshire was set on fire at around 1:30am. This marked the second time the device has been destroyed since being installed at the beginning of the year, according to the Grimsby Telegraph. Officials upset by the loss of the automated ticketing machine have no idea who may be responsible.
About 90 minutes after the Laceby incident, vigilantes used a gasoline-filled tire to burn a camera on Princes Road in Dartford. According to the Bromley News Shopper, firefighters reached the blaze early and the extent of the damage is unknown.
In northern France, vigilantes succeeded in disabling a speed camera on the D8 towards Fresnoy-le-Grand by smashing the camera lens last week. According to L'Aisne Nouvelle, officials have no idea who might be responsible.