Ticket camera corporations like to put out press releases and pay for biased surveys that show that ticket cameras are well-liked by the general public. The reality is that this is far from the truth. This is borne out by the fact that no ticket camera program has ever survived a public vote.
Thankfully, speed cameras are fairly rare in the United States right now (and will hopefully continue to be) but in Europe — and particularly in the United Kingdom — they are being used extensively.
So, how has the public reacted in these countries? Take a look at this list below, which was compiled from the 2009 archives of TheNewspaper.com. Let’s just say they haven’t exactly received a warm welcome:
UK: Somerset Speed Camera Scorched (12/13/09)
Vigilantes destroy Somerset, UK speed camera with gasoline-soaked tire.
UK, The Netherlands: Speed Cameras Destroyed, Gift-Wrapped (12/6/09)
UK speed camera burns while Dutch cameras are gift wrapped on St. Nicholas Eve.
France, Germany, Italy: Speed Cameras Burned, Blinded, Bombed (11/29/09)
Three cameras in Germany, two in France and one in Italy were destroyed or damaged this week.
Dorset, UK Speed Camera Destroyed by Fire (11/15/09)
Vigilantes in Dorset, England take out a speed camera with a burning tire.
UK: Surrey Speed Camera Burned (10/25/09)
Vigilantes set fire to a speed camera in Surrey, England.
Speed Cameras Attacked in Finland, Poland and Wales (10/11/09)
Explosives destroy speed camera in Northern Finland, Welsh authorities report 102 camera attacks and Polish speed camera burned.
Louisiana and UK Speed Cameras Burned (10/4/09)
Fixed and mobile speed cameras damaged by fire in Bradford, UK and Westwego, Louisiana.
Speed Cameras Attacked in Italy, Germany, Kuwait, Poland (9/27/09)
Speed cameras smashed, traffic cameras shot, a speed trap hiding spot is destroyed in Italy, Germany, Kuwait and Poland.
Automated Enforcement Assaulted in Australia, France, Maryland, UK (9/13/09)
Speed cameras are spraypainted, toppled, shot and firebombed on three continents.
Speed Cameras Attacked in France, Ireland, Poland, The Netherlands and UK (8/30/09)
Speed cameras in France, Ireland, Poland, The Netherlands and UK are booed, blocked, burned, bombed, bent and boosted over the past week.
Camera Attacks in Tennessee, Australia, Italy, Latvia, Spain, UK (8/16/2009)
Speed cameras are shot, rammed, burned and smashed in Tennessee and throughout Europe this week.
Speed Cameras Taken Out in The Netherlands, Poland and the UK (8/9/2009)
Vigilantes act to stop camera ticketing in The Netherlands, Poland and the UK.
Louisiana, Poland, South Africa and UK Express Anger Toward Speed Cameras (8/2/09)
People in Zachary, Louisiana; Poland; South Africa and Swindon, England choose different methods to strike at photo enforcement.
UK, California and New York Destroy Traffic Cameras (7/26/09)
Traffic cameras smashed in Fremont, California; grabbed in New York City, New York; burned in West Yorkshire, UK.
Speed Cameras Disabled in Arizona, France (7/5/09)
Arizona freeway camera vans receive Post-It Note treatment while French cameras are burned and painted black.
Speed Cameras in UK, Germany, The Netherlands Swiped, Smashed, Scorched (6/7/09)
Vigilantes use a variety of methods to eliminate Scottish, British, German and Dutch speed cameras.
Australian Cops Block Speed Cameras, French, UK Vigilantes Destroy Them (5/31/09)
West Australian police block speed cameras while vigilantes smash French and burn UK cameras.
Speed Cameras Attacked in Germany, Italy, Poland, UK (5/24/09)
Vigilantes disable and destroy speed cameras located in Germany, Italy, Poland and Wales.
Tennessee Protests Speed Cameras, UK Burns and Poland Grabs Them (5/10/09)
Students protest speed cameras in Tennessee, while cameras burn in Lancashire, UK and are grabbed in Poland.
Cameras Burn in England and Germany (4/26/09)
Vigilantes incinerate a Lincolnshire, UK speed camera and damage another in Stade, Germany.
Vigilantes Target French, UK Speed Cameras (4/6/09)
Vigilantes burn speed cameras in France, UK. Anti-war rioters take time to eliminate a speed camera during NATO summit.
Vigilantes Destroy Speed Cameras in France, Italy, UK (3/8/09)
Two French speed cameras disabled, two Italian camera smashed and one UK camera is knocked over.
Vigilantes Attack Cameras in UK, Italy (3/1/09)
Spray paint disables a French speed camera while a burning tire destroys a UK camera.
UK, Italy Vigilantes Attack Speed Cameras (2/22/09)
Two speed cameras in the Isle of Wight, UK covered in paint while a speed camera in Lombardy, Italy is destroyed.
Belgian, British, Polish Speed Cameras Swiped (2/8/09)
Vigilantes grab speed cameras in Belgium, England and Poland.
UK and French Vigilantes Continue Attacks on Speed Cameras (1/25/09)
French speed camera attacked six times in a year while UK speed camera disappears.