7/25/2010UK: Thrice Burned Speed Camera Up In Flames Again
Vigilantes burn a Shropshire, UK speed camera.
A speed camera in Shropshire, England burst into flames at around 3am Thursday, damaged for the fourth time since it was first installed. Vigilantes used a gasoline-soaked tire to scorch the automated ticketing machine at Bennetts Bank in Telford. In a previous attack, an industrial saw was used to cut down the camera, the first to be installed in the area. The controversial camera even became subject to debate in the House of Commons after evidence surfaced that there were no real accidents on the road where the camera was installed.
"An employee of the council seconded to the [West Mercia Speed Camera] Partnership agreed with me off record and admitted that the main reason for the placement was that it was a good place to catch the 7000 vehicles per day flow," Member of Parliament Owen Patterson said in 2006, quoting John Evans. "It was necessary to kick start the abominable partnership in this way as this was the first such camera in Shropshire."
The West Mercia Speed Camera Partnership told the Shropshire Star newspaper that it was upset to lose the revenue generating device "especially in the current climate." The new Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has cut the national subsidy to the speed camera partnerships by as much as forty percent. Oxfordshire last week announced it would drop photo ticketing as a result.