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Speed Camera Pickax Attacker Gets Probation and Fine

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A man who attacked a freeway speed camera with a pickax back in December won't go to jail, but must pay a fine of more than $3,500. He also has to serve a term of probation.

Travis Munroe Townsend (pictured) was seen by a Department of Public Safety motorcycle officer on the side of the Loop 101 near 59th Avenue as he struck the tower-like structure with the pickax. The act of vandalism seemed to copy a similar incident in the Czech Republic that resulted in several iconic images published on a Czech automobile Web site, autoforum.cz (including the one below).

Many Arizonans share Townsend's frustration, to a lesser extent, with the DPS photo enforcement system put in place by former Governor Janet Napolitano. But civil disobedience doesn't appear necessary to rid the state's highways of photo radar vans -- the political system seems to be doing it.

The Arizona State Legislature is pondering whether to kill the statewide program by September 2010.

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