Frustration over a new gas tax, lowered speed limits and increased use of speed cameras triggered protests throughout France over the weekend. The “yellow vest” demonstrations struck back at the government by blinding speed cameras with those vests to deprive it of revenue. An estimated three hundred thousand individuals gathered on freeways in two thousand separate protests throughout the country, blocking traffic and marching through the streets with livestreamed coverage available on the organizing group’s Facebook page.
Last week saw an increase in the number of attacks on automated ticketing machines. On Friday, the speed camera on the N147 in Mignaloux-Beauvoir was destroyed with burning tires, Centre Presse reported. The speed camera on the A31 near Metz was blasted by gunfire last week, Lorraine Actu revealed. The Saint-Sauveur speed camera on the RN57 was destroyed by fire Saturday. L’Est Republicain found the remains of the tires used to fuel the blaze at the scene. On Sunday, the speed camera on the RN21 in Pujols was set on fire, according to Sud Ouest. The speed camera on the A62 in Preignac was torched on Wednesday, Le Republicain Sud-Gironde reported. In Riou, the speed camera on the RN88 was destroyed by fire last week Monday, L’Eveil de Haute-Loire noted.
On Sunday, the speed camera on the D1017 near Peronne was covered with a trash bag, Courrier Picard revealed. On the A75 in Coudes and the A89 in Noiretable, La Montagne found a pair of speed cameras spraypainted black on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the lens of the speed camera in Bouzonville was painted brown with a roller, according to Le Republicain Lorrain. Around the same time, white paint and a happy face decorated the speed camera on the RN88 in Bellevue-la-Montagne, while the camera on the RN102 in Vazeilles-Limandre was torched and a pair of cameras in Brioude were disabled, Le Progres noted. Yellow paint blinded the speed camera on the A16 in Saint Leonard on Friday, La Voix du Nord explained. In Arras, a pair of speed cameras were taken out. The same publication found the speed camera on the RN47 near Lens was painted orange along with the camera on the A21. Black paint blinded the speed camera on the RD438 in Bussurel, L’Est Republicain reported. On Wednesday, black paint kept the speed camera on the RD419 near Altkirch from issuing tickets, according to Dernieres Nouvelles D’Alsace.
On Tuesday, a man filmed himself spraypainting the speed camera on the D112 in Villemade while wearing a yellow vest. La Depeche explained that police have charged the YouTube account’s owner. In Brittany, twenty speed cameras have been disabled so far this year following the latest incident in La Feuillee where the automated ticketing machine was painted red last week Sunday, Le Telegramme reported. In Bagnols, black paint was dumped on the mobile speed camera newly installed on the D6086, preventing it from issuing tickets, according to Midi Libre. La Commere 43 noted the speed camera on the RN88 in Puy-en-Velay was painted orange last week Sunday. Around the same time, the camera on the RD20 in Saint-Christophe-du-Luat was painted the same color, Le Courrier de La Mayenne explained.