11/4/2019France, Germany, Italy: Speed Cameras Destroyed, Blocked, Blinded
Attacks on French speed cameras multiply as Yellow Vest anniversary nears. Devices also damaged in Germany, Italy.
French vigilantes continued to celebrate the fast-approaching first anniversary of the Yellow Vest movement. Opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron's photo-enforced imposition of an 80 km/h (50 MPH) speed limit on departmental roads took to the streets of major cities by the thousands in mid-November 2018. The protests soon became a demonstration of general dissatisfaction with Macron, who partially retreated from several controversial policy positions. Attacks on automated ticketing machines continued, cutting deeply into the government's coffers, with an estimated 660 million euros (US $714 million) in lost profit since last year.
The government has vowed to replace damaged photo radar units with next generation "turret" speed cameras that are mounted on twelve-foot high poles in an attempt to prevent attacks. Vigilantes have found little trouble in dealing with them. In Preixan, the speed camera on the RD118 was cut down and burned with a blowtorch on Saturday. Vigilantes used black spraypaint to blind the speed camera on the RD791 in Planguenoual. On Friday, vigilantes in Saint-Francois, on the island of Guadeloupe, set fire to pallets placed underneath a speed camera, destroying the device. On Thursday, vigilantes in Plemet used a saw to cut down the camera that had been recently installed to issue tickets on the RN164. On Wednesday, an already disabled speed camera on the RD7 in Lannebert was burned again to ensure it would not be put back into service. Around the same time, the speed camera on the D6 in Arcy-Sainte-Restitue was destroyed with by burning car. As soon as the speed camera on the RD373 was installed at the entrance to Essarts-les-Sezanne, vigilantes kept it from issuing tickets by applying spraypaint across the device's lens.
On October 28, the turret-style photo radar device on the RD7 in Plouvara was torched. Around the same time, the speed camera on the RN12 near Saint-Brieuc was set on fire. On October 27 in Vergigny, the speed camera on the RN77 failed to prevent a serious accident. A car struck a barrier near the automated ticketing machine and burst into flames. The fire soon spread to the pole-mounted speed camera. In Canapville, the speed camera on the A13 was blinded by a fluorescent green sticker applied across its lens. In Veaugues, the speed camera on the RD955 was torched. In Argeliers, the turret speed camera was cut down and left at the side of the road. The speed camera on the CD13 in Coignieres was spraypainted. Blue paint was used to cover the lens on the speed camera stationed on the D1029 in Proyart.
In Treuchtlingen, Germany, a firefighter upset by the use of a speed camera fought back last week by parking his firetruck in front of the device. In Chiavenna, Italy, a vigilante on Thursday blasted the speed camera on the Via Volta with a shotgun.