1/23/2011Florida, Australia, Belgium, Germany, UAE, UK Defy Speed Cameras
Speed cameras around the world encounter disrespect, fire and paint.
Motorists on four continents expressed displeasure with traffic cameras last week. In New Orleans, Louisiana, vigilantes disabled three red light cameras, WVUE-TV reported. Employing the same technique used last month, the cameras were bent so that they faced the ground and their lenses were covered with black paint.
A pair of speed cameras on the A16 in Lincolnshire, UK were set on fire last week Sunday. According to the Spalding Guardian, the devices will not be replaced because of budgetary constraints. In Sussex, the location where singer Nick Cave rammed a speed camera on December 7 has become a local tourist attraction, according to The Argus.
A Ford pickup truck rammed into a speed camera in Bonn, Germany on Tuesday. General-Anzeiger reported that the automated ticketing machine on Landestrasse 144, which failed to prevent the accident, suffered major damage.
In Victoria, Australia, a 27-year-old artist has been using cardboard boxes and paint to decorate speed cameras so that they resemble the Pixar movie character Wall-E. The automated ticketing machine character in the Melbourne suburb of Lower Templestowe is called "S-Cam." A local police inspector threatened to charge the anonymous artist for "willfully interfering" with a speed camera, even though the boxes and flannel shirts do not interfere with the camera's operation. The artist responded on his Facebook page with photos of garage sale signs affixed to camera poles.
Police in the United Arab Emirates are likewise upset that some young motorists have taken to flashing the speed cameras. According to Emirates 24/7, those mooning the cameras generally cover up their number plate before driving past the device.
Within the past six year, 210 automated ticketing machines have been disabled or destroyed in Flanders, Belgium, Nieuwsblad reported. This represents about one out of seven of the operational devices. Vigilantes set the speed cameras on fire (43 times), wrenched the housings open (47 times) and shot out the lenses (19 times) for the most part without ever being caught. In 2010, 20 cameras were attacked. In 2009, 27 were put out of commission. In 2008 there were 54 attacks and 57 in 2007. In 2006 there were 18 and 34 in 2005.