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France, Poland, South Africa: Speed Cameras Under Attack

March 14, 2010

France, Poland, South Africa: Speed Cameras Under Attack
Speed camera lightly scorched in France, painted in Poland and operators held up in South Africa. 

Painted  speed camera, Dorothea GrabczewskaLast Monday, vigilantes lightly scorched the housing of a speed camera in Bons-Tassily, France. A tire at the base of the automated ticketing machine on the RN 158 was set on fire, but the device survived the incident according to Ouest France.

A pair of automated speed trap operators in Port Elizabeth, South Africa got a taste of highway robbery on Friday. As the mobile speed camera issued citations on Uitenhage Road, thieves came up from behind the municipal employees and held them at gunpoint. According to the Weekend Post newspaper, the thieves made off with cellphones, wallets, handcuffs and the keys to the speed camera car. One of the city workers was shot in the arm during the incident.

Vigilantes in the districts of Kutno and Leczyca, Poland continue to disable speed cameras by covering the lenses with paint. Local officials complain that the cameras are disabled faster than they can repair them. Most of the automated ticketing machines in the remote locations of the region are not operable for another reason. Because the devices do not have their own dedicated power supplies, police must bring battery packs that last no more than three hours at a time. The city of Lodz, for example, has 59 cameras — 23 of which run on batteries. Of the 13 cameras in Kutno and Leczyca, only one, in Bedlnie, has a dedicated power supply, Polska Dziennik reported.

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