MEMBERS OF THE YELLOW vest movement in France have reportedly vandalized and destroyed more than half of the country’s speed cameras.
A spokesman for the French Ministry of the Interior told CNN that 60 percent of France’s speed cameras, about 3,200 in total, have been vandalized since November, threatening road safety and putting people’s lives at risk.[
The demonstrations, which began in November as a protest to an environmentally friendly fuel tax, have absorbed a variety of other causes, many of them based around pocketbook issues.
The vandalism targeting cameras is seen as a response to the country’s government lowering speed limits in July. According to CNN, speed limits were decreased from 56 mph to 50 mph on two-lane highways – a decision officials made in an effort to reduce vehicle accidents and deaths.
All around France, speed cameras are covered in paint or black tape that prevents them from taking photos of speeding cars’ license plates and sending the motorists a ticket.
CNN reported that the damaged speed cameras are costing the country millions, with each camera running anywhere from $574 to $69,000, depending on the extent of the damage. It costs almost $91,860 to replace a camera entirely.
The country is also losing revenue from speeding tickets.