People aren’t happy with the anti-pollution daily tolls imposed by Big Brother.
An Ultra Low Emission Zone in London has proven unpopular with a group of activists who have taken to cutting down and stealing cameras which impose daily fines on violators. Some are calling these black-clad vigilantes heroes while others argue they’re vandals who don’t understand what the government is doing.
The ULEZ cameras read license plates of cars entering the Ultra Low Emission Zone, imposing a fine of £12.50 per violation. In other words, if you happen to live in that portion of the city or work there and have an older vehicle that doesn’t comply, you could be racking up that fee every day. It seems obvious those who are most affected are lower-income car owners since they’re more likely to be using older daily drivers.
Private citizens at first tried covering the lenses on the ULEZ cameras. That was only mildly effective as government workers could just uncover them and the monitoring of any emissions violators would continue. Then someone decided to start stealing the cameras, sparking a movement of disobedience.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reminded citizens that protesting the ULEZ cameras isn’t illegal but vandalizing or stealing them is. A 42-year-old man was charged with criminal damage and destruction of or damage to property back in May 2023, as detailed out in a BBC report. It was also revealed the Met Police were working to stop the damage and theft of cameras around the area.
Originally put into place back in 2019, the ULEZ included most of central London. However, it’s ben expanded to cover more of the city and it’s about to be pushed out to cover the entire Greater London area. Legal challenges threaten the latest expansion, but some people have decided the law isn’t providing proper protection, so they’re working outside it to bring the program to its knees.
Many counties bordering London have banned ULEZ cameras, showing that there’s strong opposition to the concept outside of the UK’s largest city. Supporters might argue that’s ridiculous since the fines apply to only a small portion of vehicles on the road. Conversely, critics argue if the targeted cars are so few, why are they being fined and restricted?