Why are half of France's speed cameras out of action?

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Why are half of France's speed cameras out of action?
A car drives past a speed camera trashed with a placard reading "Macron, you spoil our lives, the Yellow vests will spoil your quinquennium", in Ajaccio (Corsica). Photos: AFP

Half of France's speed cameras aren’t working and the reason is a familiar one.


Around half of France’s fixed speed trap cameras are currently out of order. 

The reason for this sudden yet widespread disrepair is - if you hadn’t guessed it already – the nationwide acts of vandalism against public property carried out by the most radical anti-government protesters in recent weeks.

Of the 3,275 fixed speed cams in France, 250 have been damaged beyond repair and an additional 1,500 have been vandalized to the point where they no longer work.

The means of destruction range from covering les radars in paint to wrapping them in Clingfilm or in rubbish bags to prevent the camera from working.

France’s Road Safety association had decided to keep the news under wraps to prevent the vandalistic trend from spreading, but that seems to have happened regardless.

Although there isn’t a figure yet for what the damage amounts to, the public entity told Europe 1 the bill is of “millions of euros.”

READ ALSO: French state coffers boosted by record €1 billion bonanza from speed cameras

There is no way of knowing at present if it’s gilets jaunes protesters who are responsible for the speed cam vandalism or professional casseurs (as hooligans who destroy public property are known in France) who are taking advantage of France’s current situation to act with impunity.

Toll booths have however been severely damaged by “yellow vest” protesters who blockaded traffic with burning barricades.

Vandalising a speed camera is considered a crime in France which can see culprits handed anything from a seven year prison sentence to a €100,000 fine.



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