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France Leads World In Speed Camera Opposition
Nearly 50,000 speed cameras have been destroyed or disabled in France in the past decade. Photo radar attacked in Cyprus, Germany, Italy last week.

Spraypainted blue in France
By Richard Diamond/Staff Reports

France leads the world in activism against automated ticketing machines. Over the past decade, opponents of speed cameras have destroyed or deactivated over 49,270 photo radar units. In 2598 of those incidents, devices were unrepairable had to be scrapped. The attacks have reduced the French government's automated ticketing profits by 177 million euros (US $188 million).

On Tuesday, for example, blue spraypaint blinded the speed camera on the RD31 in Taintrux. As of last week, the speed camera on the Quai du President Paul Doumer in Courbevoie also remained disabled with a coat of black paint that had been applied months ago.

Roving speed camera vans that send automated tickets to motorists while moving on French highways are generating controversy because of the hazards they create. Operated by the private firm Mobium, these unmarked radar cars have caused at least four accidents so far, including a head-on collision on the RD972 that sent two innocent motorists to the hospital with serious injuries.

In Cyprus, vigilantes on Wednesday fired buckshot at the speed camera van that had been issuing automated tickets near the village of Avgorou. The van's driver was not injured, but the vehicle was slightly damaged. This is the third shooting attack on a photo radar device on the Mediterranean island.

On Saturday, an unknown vigilante in Jena, Germany, used a hammer to smash the speed camera that had been issuing automated tickets on Wollnitzer Strasse, according to local police. In Monticiano, Italy, vigilantes blinded the speed camera on Strada Statale 223 with silver spraypaint on Saturday, October 14.

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