Vandals have destroyed a speed camera by hanging tyres around it and setting them alight.
The burning tyres were extinguished by firefighters in the latest attack on Gatso cameras in the Bournmouth area.
Ferndown mayor Queenie Comfort said: “It could have cost lives. You might have three or four Fire engines dash off to this and they might have been needed more urgently at a fire or a road traffic accident.
“The cameras also cost a lot.
“When you set tyres on fire they make a most ghastly smell and they are toxic.
“It is really wanton vandalism.
“It’s not to be encouraged. I hope they catch the culprits.”
Dorset Police said: “The incident was reported to us by the fire service in the early hours of this morning and it is being investigated as arson.”
The 38 fixed cameras across the county are operated by the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership.
Johnny Stephens, head of fixed penalties for the organisation, told the Bournmouth Echo in August that vandalism of safety cameras was “wholly irresponsible behaviour that could endanger people’s lives”.
“There is vast evidence to show that motorists who speed increase their risk of being involved in a collision and pose a real risk to other road users,” he added.
Oliver Hall, Operations Team