It’s been dug out, pushed over, shot at and set alight – but each time a hated speed monitoring camera in Durbanville has been repaired and put back to work.
“It’s somebody who sees the camera as a threat to himself getting fines. It might be a lunatic on a bicycle or someone who might have been caught speeding and is resentful,” said Koeberg sub-council chairperson Claude Ipser.
The road rage leveled against the camera, mounted along Durbanville’s Vissershok Road, has cost the city over R200 000 in replacements and repairs,
Speaking at a sub-council meeting on Monday last week (February 15), Ipser said the camera, on a 60km per hour stretch of road, had been vandalised four times in the past few months.
First the pole on which it was mounted was dug up and pushed over; then it was shot at, then it was set alight when someone placed two burning tyres at the top of the pole and a third at the bottom; and then it was again shot at.
Each time it was repaired and put back to work.
Ipser said the vandalism was “disturbing” and called for a tougher penalty for perpetrators if they were caught.
Durbanville Police spokeswoman Sergeant Bernice Laas-Bezuidenhout said two cases of malicious damage to property had been opened by the city’s traffic department and the police.
Laas-Bezuidenhout said the most recent attack on the camera was on January 31 when three bullets were fired at the camera, shattering the camera lens worth R10 000.
She said the attack in which the camera was set alight occurred on December 30, an act which completely destroyed it.
She said the camera was necessary as it looked onto a high accident zone.
On February 8, 2008, a woman who was jogging was hit by a motorist there and died.
Mayoral Safety and Security Committee member Jean Pierre Smith said “a lot” cameras set up to catch speeding motorists were subject to vandalism and the city was looking at expanding to move away from using cameras to “manual enforcement where speeding motorists have to be pulled over”.