Encounter Flexman, the Italian Vigilante Battling Against Speed Cameras

Meet Flexman, the Italian Vigilante Waging War on Speed Cameras

Over the course of the past eight months, an enigmatic figure known as ‘Flexman’ among his admirers in the driving community has been actively disabling speed cameras across various regions of Italy.

Employing an angle grinder, Flexman adeptly severs the supporting metal poles of these cameras, leaving authorities puzzled about his identity and unable to thwart his actions.

The angle grinder, conceived in 1954 by the German company Flex, has, interestingly, lent its name to this vigilante, emphasizing the tool’s association with his activities.

In May of the preceding year, Flexman initially gained media attention by dismantling a speed trap near Bosaro in Italy’s Rovigo region.

Subsequently, he proceeded to disable at least seven more cameras in Rovigo and Veneto, employing his distinctive angle grinder. Despite ongoing coverage, authorities remain in the dark regarding his identity and methods to apprehend him.

Encounter Flexman, the Italian Vigilante Battling Against Speed Cameras
Encounter Flexman, the Italian Vigilante Battling Against Speed Cameras (Credits: Oddity Central)

Flexman operates stealthily during the late-night hours, typically between 1 and 2 a.m., targeting roadside speed cameras and employing the angle grinder to dismantle their metal pole supports.

Revered by many drivers as a contemporary Robin Hood combating an alleged unjust system, authorities view Flexman as a menace responsible for significant financial damages and potentially compromising road safety.

The rationale behind Flexman’s actions, as perceived by him and his supporters, is straightforward: numerous municipal and provincial administrations have proliferated speed cameras indiscriminately, prioritizing revenue generation over accident prevention. For Flexman, this excessive use of speed cameras in incongruous locations serves as a catalyst for his mission.

Mirco Gennari, the provincial coordinator of the local police workers’ union, deems Flexman a criminal but expresses hope that his popularity prompts administrations to reevaluate their use of certain tools and the role of local police, emphasizing their significance beyond mere tax collection.

The Italian press has reported that Flexman’s exploits in Rovigo and Veneto have sparked similar actions among disgruntled motorists in different parts of Italy. Some individuals have resorted to explosive methods, while others opt for hurling large rocks at speed traps, mirroring the vigilante’s modus operandi.

According to Article 635 of the Italian Penal Code, individuals engaging in the destruction, deterioration, or rendering of others’ property unusable could face a prison sentence ranging from six months to three years.

However, the enforcement of this penalty necessitates prosecutors deciphering the sparse clues available to unveil Flexman’s true identity. Despite the potential legal consequences, he has emerged as a symbol of hope for frustrated Italian motorists burdened by exorbitant speeding fines.

The latest known incident attributed to Flexman occurred on the night between December 23 and 24, 2023, when two speed cameras were toppled near the Corso Savona junction on the ring road in Asti.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.