They were supposed to be France’s “lethal weapon” against speeding motorists. Instead, the country’s new breed of reputedly “invincible” speed cameras are already falling foul to road rage vandals, with dozens trashed since the start of the summer, officials say.
French police commissioned the new high-tech radars after irate motorists – many of them supporters of the “yellow vest” revolt – trashed up to 75 per cent of the country’s classic speed traps in recent months, at an estimated cost of €360 million (£326m) to the taxpayer.
The new “turret” traps cost €32,000 a piece and can survey 32 vehicles within a 200m (219-yard) stretch of road at the same time, detecting not only excessive speed but other traffic violations including failure to wear a safety belt or use of mobile phone behind the wheel. Sitting atop a 3m(10 ft)-high pylon, the all-seeing devices were supposed to remain beyond the reach of vandals.
Some 450 were due to be installed by the end of the year. However, dozens have already been damaged and destroyed since July.