Ulez Blade Runner pretends to breakdown and block camera van's view

Moment anti ULEZ ‘Blade Runner’ ‘pretends to break down in front of enforcement van before opening his boot to block camera’s view of the road and stop it catching motorists’

  • It’s the latest tactic used to combat Sadiq Khan’s hated Ultra Low Emission Zone 

An anti-Ulez ‘Blade Runner’ has been hailed a ‘hero’ online after taking a mobile camera van out of action by pretending to breakdown in front of it. 

The activist filmed himself parking his red Renault Captur directly behind an enforcement van in London and opened his car boot as if he was in need of roadside assistance – while also placing a warning triangle on the ground.

But the positioning of the car directly behind the automatic number plate camera on top of the van meant it could not catch rule-breakers of the much-hated Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme in the capital. 

The action is the latest escalation by activists who have been targeting Sadiq Khan’s controversial motoring levy, which expanded across all of London last month and sees drivers of older vehicles charged £12.50 a day to enter the city. 

Ulez opponents, known as ‘Blade Runners’, have been tearing down, vandalising and stealing cameras across the capital, prompting London Mayor Mr Khan to roll out a fleet of enforcement vehicles to catch those flouting the rules.

Bladerunners car broke down behind an Ulez camera van, check out their reaction 🤫😂 #bladerunners #ulez #uk #london

The man filmed himself parking his ‘broken down’ car behind a Ulez enforcement van, raising the vehicle’s boot up to obscure the van’s camera 

With the car’s boot raised, the mobile van’s ANPR camera, which spots rule-breakers, was blocked 

The man’s actions, which have since gone viral online, left a Ulez official visibly frustrated

Now these enforcement vans are in the scopes of activists, who have started to vandalise them and deflate their tyres. Blade Runners have also been boxing the vehicles in with larger vans to prevent the cameras from scanning the road.  

Footage of the latest tactic to obscure the view of the vans has since notched up more than a million views on TikTok. It shows a Ulez security car pulling up at the scene before a furious official steps out and confronts the activist. 

‘Look, look, look – you can’t put this in front of the camera,’ the security guard is heard shouting in the video.

The activist replies: ‘Why not?’ as he insists he ‘just broke down – got to call the RAC’.

Attempting to free up the camera’s line of sight, the Ulez worker and guard close the man’s car boot, prompting him to say: ‘I’m allowed to do it mate, I’m letting motorists know that the car has broken down, alright?’

He adds: ‘Leave my car alone, take your a– out of the way of my car.’

When the security guard insists that he pushes the car out of the Ulez camera’s path, the activist fires back and says: ‘No, you ain’t pushing jack s***.’ 

The man’s actions were praised online, with one person saying: ‘Brilliant from this man what a hero.’ Another added: ‘Well done blade runners we thank you for your service.’ 

Blade Runners have also been boxing the vehicles in with larger vans to prevent the camera from scanning the road (pictured is the van being blocked)

Ulez security officials were left unable to take any action following the man’s ‘breakdown’

While a third person commented: ‘Bless you. The world needs more people with such courage. Standing up for the common people.’

Last week, videos emerged showing Blade Runners using large vehicles to block the view of the enforcement vans and box them im.

Images posted on social media showed two Ulez enforcement vehicles in Arbuthnot Lane in Bexleyheath, south-east London, boxed in by giant vans, rendering their cameras useless. 

In one video, a visibly exasperated Ulez van worker with a body camera is seen calling his manager, asking him to ‘just get here’.

The vehicles are being dispatched as many fixed Ulez cameras have been put out of use by opponents of the scheme.

Earlier, footage was released of one vehicle in Maiden Lane, Crayford, having been sprayed with graffiti and had its tyres deflated. 

The same van was also pictured wrapped in a huge blue bag covering it down to the wheels. 

Anti-Ulez campaigners have turned their fire on mobile camera vans trying to enforce the rules, by letting down the tyres and 

One social media post showed a van being towed away on a recovery truck

The camera vans have been deployed as hundreds of static cameras have been reported damaged or missing

It was posted with the message: ‘Can we all send our thoughts and prayers to this poor ULEZ spy van that’s looking rather… deflated.’

Ulez cameras use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify vehicles.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan tightens the squeeze on drivers: Mayor deploys fleet of Ulez camera vans to catch drivers after vigilantes launched more than 500 attacks on CCTV units monitoring the expanded £12.50-a-day zone

Although the mobile cameras can only detect incompliant vehicles while stationary, they can move between boroughs to be deployed at hotspots including near Heathrow airport. 

People who drive in the zone with a non-compliant vehicle and fail to pay the £12.50 daily fee are initially being sent warning letters.

In the coming weeks TfL is expected to start issuing rule-breakers with £180 fines, which will reduce to £90 if paid within 14 days.

A TfL spokesman said: ‘Vandalism is unacceptable and all incidents on our network are reported to the police for investigation.

‘Criminal damage to Ulez cameras or vehicles puts the perpetrators at risk of prosecution and injury, while simultaneously risking the safety of the public.

‘Camera vandalism will not stop the Ulez operating London-wide.

‘All vandalised cameras are repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

‘We have an extensive camera network which is sufficient to support the effective operation of the scheme.

‘Anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle within the expanded zone will be detected and we advise everyone to check whether their vehicle is compliant and to consider the various support that is available to help transition to greener modes of transport.’

The Ulez zone expanded to include all of Greater London at the end of last month

Hundreds of Ulez cameras across the capital have been damaged by vigilantes, who have cut wires on the equipment and sprayed the lenses with paint

Anti-Ulez campaigners, known as the Blade Runners, claim to have disconnected or destroyed at least 500 of the 2,700 static cameras

The camera vans are identifiable with a camera symbol on the rear doors, along with the TfL roundel logo on the side. 

There were 510 crimes relating to Ulez cameras reported between the start of April and the end of August, figures released by the Metropolitan Police show.

Two arrests have been made, with one person charged and bailed and the other case discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who made the decision to expand Ulez to the whole of London from August 29, previously warned people attacking cameras that ‘protest should be lawful, safe and peaceful’, adding: ‘It is really important to stay on the right side of the law.’

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