2/3/2013Australia, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, UK: Speed Cameras Attacked, Protested
Throughout Europe and North America, speed cameras are attacked and protested.
Vigilantes decapitated a speed camera in Piove di Sacco, Italy on January 27. According to Il Mattino di Padova, the camera had only been operational for less than a month before the camera head was cut down from its mounting pole and left lying in the street.
In Taranto, vigilantes on Tuesday set fire to a speed camera on the Sava Torricella. La Voce di Manduria reported the control boxes for the camera were destroyed in the blaze.
In Manchester, England, a speed camera housing was set on fire Monday. The Manchester Evening Post reported the housing was empty at the time a gasoline-soaked tire was used on the Huddersfield Road camera in Stalybridge. In Wellington, a speed camera was damaged by fire Monday, according to the Shropshire Star. The device was attacked a short distance from another camera on Station Road in Ketley that had been set on fire January 4.
In Winnipeg, Canada, a man rammed a mobile photo radar setup on McGregor Street around 7:30am on January 19. CBC News reported the man then left and returned, parking his Ford F250 pickup truck in a way that prevented the photo radar vehicle driver from exiting his car. A 49-year-old suspect was later arrested. In an interview with CBC News, Constable Ray Howes, the officer in charge of ticketing, said photo radar drivers are frequently abused.
"Flipping them the bird or honking at them as they go by, and it's not usually a friendly wave or whatnot," Howes said. "The odd occasion, you have a Slurpee cup or a drink cup thrown at the vehicle. Some might even spit on the vehicles as they're going by.
Last October, motorists in Maribor, Slovenia began protesting a speed camera that issued tickets that cost a third of the country's average monthly wage for the benefit of local politicians. USA Today reported the troublesome camera was set on fire.
In Victoria, Australia a musician is fighting back against automated ticketing with his guitar. According to 3AW Radio, the man sat on the side of the road playing a song with a sign reading "speed camera" to warn oncoming traffic of the ticketing danger. Furious police ordered him to remove the sign.
The Polish government's plan to expand the use of speed cameras is causing it to sink in a recent opinion poll, officials with the coalition Civic Platform party told Polskie Radio.