A resident of a small village is offering to pay the €20,000 ($26,000) cost to have a speed camera installed in front of his house.

"/> A resident of a small village is offering to pay the €20,000 ($26,000) cost to have a speed camera installed in front of his house.

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OFFBEAT

Angry resident offers to buy speed camera

A resident of a small village is offering to pay the €20,000 ($26,000) cost to have a speed camera installed in front of his house.

Angry resident offers to buy speed camera
Ludovic

Guy Reibel lives in the small village of Courcelles in Burgundy, south east of Paris, right on the busy N77 main road. 

“I’ve been here thirty years and there’s never been any work on this road where traffic doesn’t stop increasing and just drives ever faster,” he said, reported local newspaper L’Yonne Républicaine. 

The composer and orchestra conductor has decided it is worth putting his hand in his own pocket to fund a speed camera that would sit outside his own house.

“Given the way the road curves, it’s impossible for us to enter or exit our driveway without putting our lives in danger,” he said. 

“The speed limit here is supposed to be 50 kilometres per hour, but everything goes past at between 60 and 80 km/h.”

“My own research says these machines cost around €70,000 and I’m ready to contribute up to €20,000,” he said.

Mr Reibel has mounted his own road safety campaign by placing a sign in his garden saying “people who speed are murderers.”

Local authorities do not seem sympathetic to the request.

A spokesperson said that only one accident had been recorded in the village in the last ten years, when someone was injured in 2001.

“We can only put speed cameras in places where they are strong accident risks,” said the spokesperson.

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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