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Yellow vests take out most of France’s speed cameras

Revolt: A protester gives the finger to a vandalised camera in Lyon last week PICTURE: GETTY

NEARLY two-thirds of France’s speed cameras have been vandalised in the yellow vest protests, the government announced yesterday.

Out of 3,200 fixed devices across the country, 1,920 have been attacked — in some cases smashed to pieces.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said: ‘They have been put out of action or otherwise damaged by those belonging to this movement.’

The yellow vests, whose protests against president Emmanuel Macron’s government have often spiralled into riots, started out two months ago as a small group opposed to fuel tax rises.

Wearing the high-viz vests that French drivers are required to carry in their cars, they have blockaded roads and petrol depots and burned down toll booths on motorways. After Mr Macron agreed to drop the tax rises — aimed at curbing carbon emissions — they kept on protesting and are now calling for the president to resign.

Mr Castaner confirmed 80,000 police will be on duty across the country tomorrow — Saturday has become known as the day for the group’s protests — with more trouble expected.

The yellow vests have been joined by both far-right and far-left extremists, as well as anarchists intent on causing maximum damage. Hundreds of arrests have been made in crackdowns.

The destruction of the cameras is a blow to efforts to reduce speeding on the roads of France, where accidents cause about 3,500 deaths and 70,000 injuries every year.