Motorists in South Africa and Louisiana Protest Speed Cameras
Speed camera opponents stage protests in Lafayette, Louisiana and take vigilante action in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Protest, 3/29/08Motorists fed up with speed cameras have been staging protests in places as distant as Lafayette, Louisiana and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
In Lafayette, opponents of the automated ticketing machines have begun cutting into revenue by holding impromptu picketing sessions in front of the mobile speed camera vans. On Saturday, one group of protesters caught a van at Highway 90 while a second caught another van at Kaliste Saloom Road and Hugh Wallis Road. Participants held signs reading "Cops Not Cameras" and "We the People Reject Redflex" referring to the Australian company that operates the ticketing program. The signs also helped warn passing motorists about the presence of the vans which had been carefully parked in such a way as to avoid being seen from the road. The vans drove away from the protests three times. (View larger protest photo)
"The protest was successful as business became slow for Redflex and the operator packed up," participant Phil Abshire said.
In Port Elizabeth, the Herald newspaper reported last week that a motorist slapped a sticker of a surfer onto the lens of a speed camera in Target Kloof rendering the device incapable of ticketing passing cars. The same camera has been the target of vigilantes over the past five years. In December 2006, the machine was knocked off its mounting. In 2003, the camera lens was covered with silicone and tissue paper.