5/20/2012France, Germany, Latvia, Spain, UK: Speed Cameras Under Attack
Throughout Europe, speed cameras are spraypainted, and set on fire. Reckless photo radar van driver runs off the road.
Vigilantes set fire to a lucrative speed camera in Lincolnshire, England on Thursday. According to the Spalding Guardian, the automated ticketing machine on the A151 in Whaplode is the county's number two revenue generator, pulling in £21,000 (US $33,300) per month.
A speed camera installed on May 11 in Latvia has already had its lenses covered in yellow spraypaint. The device, owned and operated by Vitronic Baltica, had not yet been activated when it was attacked on Wednesday, according to Apollo. In the Kekava district, officials ran into a more significant problem just three days before they had planned to activate a brand new speed camera. Electrical supply cables had to be laid so that the devices could operate, but the residents who owned the land flatly refused the request of Virtronic Baltica, the company in charge of the speed cameras, to dig on their property, TV Net reported. Vitronic later issued a bold statement regarding how impervious its systems are to the attacks of vigilantes.
"The strength of the stationary photo radar frame can be compared to a cash machine for reliability, and experience shows, they can not be so easily damaged," Vitronic spokesman Antra Gaile told Diena.
Vigilantes in Etroeungt and Flamengrie, France spraypainted speed cameras along the RN2 a bright shade of pink, La Voix du Nord reported.
In Catalonia, Spain a man was recently convicted of shooting a speed camera. Between January and April, government officials paid 42,000 euros (US $53,400) to repair 39 automated ticketing machines damaged by vigilantes, marking a significant increase from 36,000 euros (US $45,800) in damage accrued over the course of the entire previous year, La Vanguardia reported.
In Allgau, Germany at 3:30pm on Monday, a photo radar van went on a reckless, high-speed run on the A7. A 26-year-old speed camera company employee was behind the wheel of the Daimler Benz camera vehicle when it lost control and plowed through a fence and crashed into a tree. He had to be removed from the photo radar vehicle with the jaws of life. Damage is estimated at 60,000 euros (US $76,000), Suedkurier reported.