1/29/2018France, Italy: Speed Cameras Destroyed In Protest
Outrage over lowered speed limits in France results in the destruction of speed cameras nationwide.
The French government's decision to lower the speed limit on departmental roads from 90 km/h (56 MPH) to 80 km/h (50 MPH) on July 1 has sparked a nationwide backlash. Dozens of speed cameras were burned, spraypainted or covered in protest last week. Vigilantes began by torching three speed cameras in the Rhone-Alpes region. According to Le Dauphine, the devices had been located on the A7, RD820 and RN7. The phrase "90 km/h" was scrawled on the nearby highway, leaving no doubt about the motive behind the attack. Cameras in Cheix and Riom were also taken out of service, La Montagne reported. Both devices are currently covered by black plastic bags. In total, seven speed cameras across Drome, Isere and Ardeche were disabled, according to 13 Or.
On Thursday, the speed camera on the D939 in Dordogne was set on fire with a burning tire, France Bleu reported. On Friday, another nearby camera on the A89 was spraypainted black, the same publication noted. On the same day, the speed camera on the D1029 in Proyart was painted black, according to Courrier Picard. In Auch, the speed camera on the RN124 was spraypainted yellow on Tuesday, La Depeche reported.
By Saturday, coordinated protests against the lowered speed limit erupted across the country. A new group Anger 86 grew to 2700 members who went out on motorcycles and covered speed cameras across Poitiers. La Nouvelle Republique captured the protest on video. Around the same time, the group French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) held rallies in Rouen.
In Carbonera, Italy, three masked vigilantes yanked a pair of bright orange "Velo OK" speed cameras out of the ground. Treviso Today reported that the devices had been issuing tickets on the Via Diaz and the Via Codalonga.