Recently, I blogged about an Arizona woman who racked up 70 speeding tickets in less than five months. Her need for speed was caught on speed cameras mounted at intersections she frequented. She currently faces some $11,000 in fines and could have her license suspended. Her story is similar to that of a British motorist who suffered the same fate from a speed camera—but with one exception: the man who was caught on tape breaking various road rules retaliated by blowing up the camera.
According to the British media, Craig Moore took his revenge on the camera, which had caught him speeding on numerous occasions. Ironically, Manchester Police were able to nab him because although he managed to badly damage the camera, “images of him speeding and returning to destroy the evidence were stored in recording equipment in its unscathed base.” Oops!
The 28-year-old now faces four months in jail for the offense. What I found interesting was the fact that police say Moore’s attack on the camera was not Britain’s first, though it may rate as the most extreme. The other attacks have consisted of angered motorists using axes or painting the cameras. I suppose with so many cameras (police report there are more than 4,000 speed cameras located across Britain) looking to nab lead-footed drivers, it was just a matter of time before the violence against them escalated.
In fact, Britain’s speed cameras have been causing quite a bit of controversy. While supporters view them as a useful tool to reduce accidents, critics complain that they are little more than a “money-making opportunity.”
Paul Smith, founder of Safe Speed campaign group, which lobbies against the speed devices says: “Apart from their total failure to deliver improved road safety, they push good people outside of the law every day of the week.”
But others disagree, and point to the fact that the system of speed camera enforcement in Britain is a lot fairer than other European countries where the cameras are often disguised or hidden. In Britain the cameras are painted bright yellow and placed at intersections that have proven to be havens for accidents. We don’t have speed cameras in the city I live in, but I know if we did I certainly would be extra vigilant about my speed.
Do you have speed cameras in your city? Have you ever been ticketed as a result of being caught on camera?