9/12/2009Speed Camera Hate Grows in Belgium
Anti-speed camera Facebook group for drivers in Belgium grows beyond 43,000 members in less than three months.
Belgian motorists are turning to social networking sites to express their dislike for automated enforcement. In less than three months, the Facebook group Speed Camera Hate (Haat flitspalen) has gained 43,000 members, making it one of the fastest growing Flemish groups on the site.
"I hate them from the bottom of my heart," Belgian motorist Tim Vanderlinden wrote about speed cameras. "If I just see a van I start boiling with rage."
The Facebook page features photos of speed cameras that have been shot, knocked over, burned and otherwise destroyed. It also includes cartoons mocking the "safety" message of cameras and a place to upload photos of fast and exotic cars for speeding past what are described as mere revenue generating devices.
Belgium has the densest road network in Europe with a corresponding density of automated ticketing devices. Over 540,000 speed camera tickets were issued last year at the federal level alone, and cameras are constantly being added at the local level. The Walloon region's transport minister, Benoit Lutgen, this week announced the addition of fifty more photo radar devices.
"There are currently almost more speed cameras than trees in Flanders," Danny Van Meir wrote.
The anonymous founder of the Facebook page does not directly encourage members to destroy speed cameras. Instead, a recent posting suggested it was the civic duty of motorists to carry chalk so that a warning can be scrawled on the street to let fellow drivers know about hidden speed camera traps.