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Yellow vests knock out 60% of all speed cameras in France

BBC News

Members of the “yellow vests” protest movement have vandalised almost 60% of France’s entire speed camera network, the interior minister has said.

Christophe Castaner said the wilful damage was a threat to road safety and put lives in danger.

The protest movement began over fuel tax increases, and saw motorists block roads and motorway toll booths.  

Some protesters feel speed cameras are solely a revenue-generating measure which takes money from the poor.

The BBC’s Hugh Schofield, in Paris, said evidence of the vandalism is visible to anyone driving around France, with radar cameras covered in paint or black tape to stop them working.

But the extent of the damage – now believed to affect more than half of all 3,200 speed cameras in the country’s network – was unknown until Mr Castaner’s statement on Thursday.

He said the devices had been “neutralised, attacked, or destroyed” by members of the protest movement.

The yellow vests movement, or gilets jaunes in French, is named after the high-visibility vests that every driver in the country must keep in their vehicle.

Speed limits in France were already controversial after the government lowered the limit on many main roads from 90km/h to 80 (50mph) early last year.

Protesters angry about the increase in fuel taxes complained of the rising costs of a commute for those priced out of living in urban centres – and turned their ire on other costs such as toll roads and speed cameras.

While the number of people attending weekend protests has dropped since the government made some small concessions, the conflict between the popular movement and the government remains a daily topic of debate in France.

Just this week, the prime minister announced a crackdown on unsanctioned protests, while a former boxer filmed punching police officers has divided public opinion, with some claiming he was defending other protesters from police.

And on Tuesday, the person picked to lead the country’s planned “great debate” on the issues resigned over her €14,666 monthly salary (£13,200; $16,800).


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4 Responses to Yellow vests knock out 60% of all speed cameras in France

  1. 'ol stewbum says:

    The government does not like to be censored. Go figure?

  2. Enemy of the State says:

    protest movement have vandalized almost 60% of France’s entire speed camera network,

    welcome to 4G Warfare pricks

    keep playin’, dont go away mad we got more shit to break of yours , sure we know we are paying for this against our will .. but our plan is to break you ,, or come and drag you out of your homes and beat you within an inch of your miserable lives

    all I can hope is it starts to get like this here

    “Christophe Castaner said the wilful damage was a threat to road safety and put lives in danger”
    does nothing of the sort you fken liar

  3. NC says:

    Bring some of that here. I’m sick of seeing cameras everywhere in places where they don’t belong. Like at every traffic intersection. Absolutely ridiculous.

  4. galen says:

    Another indication of going for the grid.


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