Monday, February 01, 2010

Freedom Shenanigans Around the World

Speed Cameras Blasted in Italy, The Netherlands, UK Speed cameras in Italy, The Netherlands and UK were blasted and swiped over Christmas week.

Speed cameras around the world were taken or destroyed last week. On December 27, vigilantes made off with a speed camera on Provincial Road 41 in the city of Cento, Italy in Ferrara. According to Estense, the automated ticketing machine was pulled down by an SUV with chains. In the town of Roccasecca in central Italy, vigilantes blasted a speed camera with a rifle. The device had been located at the 120km marker on the Via Casilina, La Notizia reported. An explosive device took out another camera in nearby Ausonia several months ago. In Hampshire, England vigilantes blasted a speed camera at around 2:30am on Christmas Day. The automated ticketing machine located in Eastleigh on Bishopstoke Road was left a twisted wreck, the Daily Mail reported. In The Netherlands, a 23-year-old minivan driver is the suspect in the bombing of a speed camera last week on Van Heemstra Avenue in Baarn. According to Baarn Police, a witness saw the minivan at the site prior to the explosion at around 1:20AM on Christmas. The suspect has been released pending trial.

Vigilantes Take on Speed Traps in Wyoming, Germany, Switzerland Vigilantes shoot variable speed trap signs in Wyoming, run over, burn and pull down speed cameras in Germany and Switzerland.

In Carbon County, Wyoming, armed vigilantes blasted a set of three Interstate 80 electronic speed limit signs on January 6. The devices allowed officials to lower the speed limit by remote control, creating a variable speed trap as passing trucks frequently obscured the signs leaving motorists with no idea the limit had been arbitrarily lowered from 75 MPH to as low as 35 MPH for a 52-mile stretch of the highly rural road. The state's transportation department offered a $2500 reward for the identity of the individuals responsible for doing the bullet damage estimated at $23,000. Officials had applied temporary repairs to the signs by January 8. Vigilantes in Bad Harzburg, Germany set fire to a speed camera on Monday. The device, located on Bundesstrasse 4, was completely destroyed. Police have no idea who might be responsible for having destroyed this and a dozen other speed cameras in the area over the past few years, Hamburger Abendblatt reported.
In Landshut, Germany on Tuesday a man rammed a mobile speed camera radar unit while it was unattended on state road 2083. Police were able to track down a 55-year-old man and have accused him of destroying the equipment, Straubinger Tagblatt reported. A video uploaded to YouTube last week appears to show a speed camera being dragged through the streets of Zurich, Switzerland after having been tied to a light rail system. The video provider explained that, "This speed camera gets a one way ticket to the end of the line."

Germany, UK: Speed Cameras Smashed and Burned
One speed camera housing in Dorset, England and three in Boeblingen, Germany attacked. Another camera in Osnabruck destroyed by fire.

Vigilantes burned a speed camera housing in Dorset, England last Tuesday at around 3am. A gasoline-filled tire was used to set the camera housing near the Bear Cross on fire, the Bournemouth Daily Echo reported. Officials claimed the camera housing was empty. Police have no idea who might be responsible.

Three of the five new column-mounted speed camera locations in Boeblingen, Germany were attacked last week. According to Stuttgarter Zeitung, only two of the city's camera locations contain the expensive photographic and laser equipment at any given time. Vigilantes smashed or removed the columns, but did not hit the sensitive electronics, according to police. Camera locations on Maurener Way, Sindelfinger Street and Tubingen Street were hit. The municipality pays about 75,000 Euros (US $100,000) to install each of the column-mounted speed camera devices.

Vigilantes in Osnabruck were able to destroy an older style of traffic camera last week. The device located on the B51 at Ostercappeln was first smashed with a hammer on January 23 at around 11pm and a 48-year-old man was taken into custody as a suspect. Last Monday, however, someone finished the job by setting the automated ticketing machine on fire, Osnabrucker Zeitung reported. The camera has been attacked a number of times since it was installed. In May 2006, the device was ripped out of the ground with a chain. In July 2006 and June 2009 it was smashed with a hammer.

UK, Canada: Speed Camera Toppled, Van Driver Harassed UK speed camera fails to save itself from drunk driving accident. Canadian photo radar driver alleges harassment.

A speed camera in the London, England borough of Hillingdon was knocked over by a suspected drunk driver on December 27, the Uxbridge Gazette reported. According to a witness, the device that officials claimed would help prevent collisions was smashed by an unidentified Land Rover driving dangerously on Long Lane. Unlike police patrols, speed cameras are unable to detect drunk or otherwise dangerous drivers that adhere to the posted speed limit. In Winnipeg, Canada the driver of a Dodge Caliber photo radar vehicle claimed that he was harassed on December 17, Quebec Media reported. The driver, who works for Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), asserted that a 24-year-old man hit and kicked the automated ticketing vehicle while yelling a death threat. There was no evidence of damage to the Dodge, but police tracked down the suspect and may file charges.