Disgruntled Drivers Responsible for UK Letter Bombs?

A letter bomb exploded yesterday at the offices of the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea, South Wales, injuring a woman. It was the seventh such incident reported at a UK agency linked to traffic enforcement in the past three weeks, and the third in three days, according to an article in the Guardian. A total of six people have been injured so far, according to a statement issued just yesterday by police. 

Today’s blast reinforced growing fears that a disgruntled driver, or someone else with a grudge against motoring enforcement bodies, had launched a concerted letter bombing campaign.

The DVLA attack followed an explosion yesterday at a company linked to speed cameras and another on Monday at the London offices of Capita, the firm that collects the capital’s congestion charge.

Drivers angered by speed-monitoring cameras, some of whom refer to police vehicles carrying speed-detection devices as "the Talivan," have engaged in acts of sabotage in the past. The UK police have labeled such criminals as terrorists.

camerapop.jpgA  leader of one of the main militant groups opposed to speed monitoring and congestion pricing, Motorists Against Detection, denied that his group was involved in the letter bomb campaign. "We’re not responsible for these attacks
and do not condone causing injury," said the man, who goes by the name "Captain Gatso." "However, there is a war against motorists and it seems this is an act of retaliation." His group’s site features several photos of speed cameras that have been blown up, with approving captions. Another like-minded site, Roadracers, sports this photo of what appears to be a camera being detonated with pedestrians in the background. It’s not clear where or when the photo was taken, or whether it is genuine.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

At P.S. 161 in Harlem the Sidewalk is the Parking Lot

|
Streetsblog reader Richard Conroy sends along these photos and writes: Yesterday there was an article about Randi Weingarten saying teachers don’t abuse parking permits. I found that amusing since my daily commute takes me past P.S. 161 in Harlem where there are numerous vehicles parked on the sidewalk every school day. This school is on […]

TA Outlines a Traffic Enforcement Strategy as NYPD Feels the Heat

|
Following up on its report highlighting NYPD’s lack of meaningful traffic enforcement and a street safety forum featuring former police commissioner Bill Bratton, Transportation Alternatives released a report yesterday [PDF] outlining case studies of effective traffic enforcement. The report gives Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his next police commissioner a broad strategy to help achieve de Blasio’s […]

34th Precinct Ceases Speed Enforcement After Inwood Slow Zone Goes In

|
Here’s another example of how James Vacca and Jessica Lappin, if they’re serious about street safety, targeted the wrong agency for a public scolding yesterday. In September, DOT completed the installation of Manhattan’s first 20-mph “Slow Zone,” between Dyckman and W. 218th Streets west of Broadway, in Inwood. This Slow Zone was requested by my […]