8/10/2020New York, France, Germany: Speed Cameras Disrespected, Destroyed
Speed camera advocates fight back, with federal charges in New York and massive fines in Germany. French vigilantes take out several cameras.
New York vigilante Elijah Song was charged by federal authorities with torching seventeen speed cameras in Queens. According to documents unsealed on August 3, Song was spotted on surveillance videos setting fire to automated ticketing machines on Utopia Parkway and 56th Avenue as well as a camera on Sanford Avenue on July 17. An unnamed New York City police officer claimed to have personally witnessed the torching of the camera at Northern Boulevard and Douglaston Parkway, which the city had put under surveillance. The officer lost the suspect after a brief chase. Anxious to protect the speed cameras, authorities then put a silver Toyota Camry that was spotted in the area under surveillance, and they followed the car which was being driven by Song. US Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold denied Song's request for bail, and he is being held until trial.
Police in Upper Franconia, Germany, were so upset that a motorist showed disrespect to a speed camera that they asked a district court to impose a massive fine. The 26-year-old driver allegedly was photographed in his BMW X5 passing a speed camera in Kulmbach at 11km/h (7 MPH) over the limit, an alleged offense that would normally merit a 20 euro (US $23) fine. According to the department, prosecutors convinced the judge instead to impose a 1500 euro (US $1768) fine and 30-day driving ban because the driver was photographed showing his middle finger to the camera.
On Sunday, vigilantes in Penguily, France, scorched the speed camera that had been issuing tickets on the RD14. On Wednesday, vigilantes in Glenic torched the pole-mounted "turret" speed camera on the RD940. The device had just been installed ten days previously. Around the same time, the camera in Saint-Andre-de-Messei was blinded with orange spraypaint. Red paint was the color of choice used to disable the speed camera on the RD46 in Epinal on Tuesday.