By on November 29, 2008

Last week, in south Essex, UK, speed camera protesters set a “scamera” alight with a gasoline-soaked tire. The fire destroyed the £40k ($60k) device on Long Road– despite the camera’s proximity to the Canvey Fire Station (whose inhabitants eventually managed to put out the blaze). According to the Echo newspaper, the incendiary incident follows a prior arson attack on a speed camera on the A127 in Southend. In the past year-and-a-half, eight south Essex speed cameras have been targeted by vandals. Meanwhile, in Queensland, Australia, on November 5, persons or persons unknown spray painted a new laser camera’s lense during testing on the Maroondah Highway in Croydon. Ten days later, three citizens tied a chain to the replacement camera and tore it from the ground.

Last Wednesday. scofflaws in Scott Township, Pennsylvania grabbed speed trap equipment from the side of the road at around 3:45pm. On the same day, Officer Joseph Gillott was using an Enradd speed measuring system on Route 347. After finishing writing a ticket to a motorist, Gillott discovered that one of his Enradd sensors was gone. [Local jurisdictions in Pennsylvania are banned by state law from using radar because lawmakers believe they would only use the devices to generate revenue from passing motorists. To get around the law, these localities use non-radar systems such as Enradd. The device uses infrared sensors placed on both sides of a road to calculate speed from the amount of time a vehicle takes to pass between two points.]

The embarrassed police department has until Monday to find the device before it’s due back at the manufacturer. North Central Safety Traffic had loaned Scott Township the system as a pre-purchase demo.

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14 Comments on “UK, AU, PA Speed Traps Attacked...”


  • avatar
    kovachian

    OH NO THEY DI’INT. I condemn such acts of vandalism done for the sheer sake of sticking it to the man.

    Nah just kidding. Death to all speed cameras. :::one finger salute:::

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Here’s a website full of wonderful happy pictures of speed cameras who’ve drawn the wrath of ordinary citizens.

    http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    I have to wonder how long some of these cameras would last on a rural stretch of road in the US before becoming target practice.

  • avatar

    another kind of Boston Tea Party

  • avatar
    Ooshley

    Victoria, not Queensland.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Ha, Boston Tea Party indeed.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The Lord helps those who help themselves. – Psalm 37

  • avatar
    pariah

    I wonder how long before somebody starts using small bombs, rather than spray paint and burning tires, to take these things out. Seems like speed cameras would be pretty good practice if you’re a bomb maker.

  • avatar

    Whenever this gets to a referendum, or the legislators are actually responsible to the people, the scameras are voted out or down.

    In England, the representatives don’t need to worry short term, like in Aus. Here in the US they do.

    Even the mighty King Bloomberg, King of New York City, was unable to get congestion pricing and has not been able to scamera-ize NYC beyond 100 “temporary demonstration project” (ten years and three reauthorizations, but still temporary). Scameras have not metastasized beyond NYC.

    Why ?

    Because the elected representatives realize that this sort of vote would be remembered at election time and since it is in-your-face, not an abstract, that it would get voters interested, and woe to the guy or girl who gives this a thumbs up.

    Scameras don’t catch drunks, fugitives or stop the behavior they seek to prevent…they just send a bill.

  • avatar
    Steve_K

    Trash them all! Lord help whoever tries to install a speed camera in Michigan. Their entire family would probably need the gov’t relocation and protection program.

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    Spray paint. Talk about poetic justice. Their (paid for by our money) $60,000 public fleecing device brought down by a $6.00 can of spray paint. Nice!

    While burning tires will make a stronger political impact, it makes a people working for a good cause look like just a bunch of arsonists to the ignorant populace. The spray paint is quicker, cheaper, harder to trace, and the lack of violence in the long run will make the case more palpable to the mommy-crats.

  • avatar
    AG

    In Michigan, your insurance company is not allowed to increase your car insurance if you got ticketed for doing 65 in a 55.

    If they are going to relentlessly rip people off with these things, the least they could do is make it illegal for insurance companies to raise your rates based on tickets from speed cameras.

  • avatar
    Chipster

    I like the arson angle. Yanking them directly out of the ground with a chain is very good, too.

    I’ve thought about throwing an old 12 gauge loaded with buckshot into my trunk for use to blow them to hell (outside of camera view). It sends a deeper message.

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