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Paris - Chaos On French Highways As 'Yellow Vests' Torch Toll Booths

Published on: December 18, 2018 01:00 PM
By: Reuters 
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 Protesters wear yellow vests as they demonstrate in Langon, near Bordeaux, France, 11 December 2018. EPA Protesters wear yellow vests as they demonstrate in Langon, near Bordeaux, France, 11 December 2018. EPA

Paris - French “yellow vest” protesters caused transport chaos on Tuesday after occupying highway toll booths and setting some of them on fire.

France’s biggest toll road operator, Vinci Autoroutes, said demonstrations were under way at some 40 sites in its network and that several highway intersections had been heavily damaged, notably in the south of France.

The Bandol toll station, east of Marseille in the south of France, suffered fire damage overnight into Tuesday and the A50 highway was closed, said Vinci, whose network is mainly in the south and west of the country.

“Motorists should take utmost care as they approach toll gates and motorway access ramps due to the presence of numerous pedestrians,” Vinci said in a statement.

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Several people have died in roadside accidents at yellow vest roadblocks in recent weeks, mostly at the many roundabouts blocked by groups of demonstrators.

The ‘yellow vests’ protesters - named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists must have in their cars - have blocked roads and roundabouts across France since mid-November.

The demonstrations began as a protest against fuel tax increases, but have since grown into a bigger backlash against the policies of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Over the past four Saturdays, demonstrators have torched cars, looted shops and clashed with police in Paris and other French cities, although protests in the capital last weekend were smaller and more peaceful than previous ones.


COSTLY DAMAGE

Protesters angry about high fuel costs and new speed limits have also covered, damaged or torched hundreds of traffic radars across France.

Radars-auto.com, a site that tracks traffic radars, estimated that by the middle of last week at least 1,600 radars, about half of all French traffic radars, had been damaged. More than 250 have been entirely destroyed, it said.

The French state will also lose several tens of millions of euros in revenues, it said, adding that in 2017 the radars had yielded on average 84 million euros ($96 million) per month.

Vinci estimates the damages to its installations will cost “several tens of millions” of euros since the start of the protests, not including lost revenue as the protesters have allowed thousands of motorists onto the highways for free.

Vinci plans to send an invoice to motorists who drove past the toll booths without paying and whose license plates were captured on surveillance cameras in the past four weeks.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 18, 2018 at 03:06 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Let's do this on the verrazano

2

 Dec 18, 2018 at 04:05 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Let's do this on the verrazano

They wouldn’t let you out of the metal asylum, so don’t dream of it.

3

 Dec 18, 2018 at 05:44 PM hashomer Says:

I'm proud that these people are putting up a resistance we need to do the same thing here in the states.

4

 Dec 18, 2018 at 09:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
hashomer Says:

I'm proud that these people are putting up a resistance we need to do the same thing here in the states.

So you're advocating the violent overthrow of the government? I'm going to contact the FBI.

5

 Dec 19, 2018 at 05:54 AM yamsar Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

So you're advocating the violent overthrow of the government? I'm going to contact the FBI.

As I’ve been saying all along. There is no difference between the kookoo right and the looney left. Look at commment #1... they are 2 sides of the same violent coin

6

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