Chaos at Providence Municipal Court - More Than a Thousand in Line on New Camera Tickets

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


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Double line inside Providence Public Safety

The line at Providence Public Safety Center went out the door and up the street Monday morning with members of the public responding to notices of violation from Providence’s new controversial traffic camera units intended to flag speeders.

At a pace of hearing one case, per minute, per hour, for twenty straight hours the court might be able to meet the demand of the number of people lined on on Monday morning.

The cameras are eyed by the Administration of Mayor Jorge Elorza as a big money maker.

Many are calling the new cameras and their corresponding traffic fines nothing more than an inequitable form of taxation.

Six additional Portable Camera Unit speed cameras have been placed in school zones throughout Providence in the past few days.

The announcement comes two weeks after speed cameras already in place throughout the city were defaced with graffiti, as GoLocalProv reported last month.

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Line goes out the door and down the street

On Friday, Providence City Councilwoman Sabina Matos (Ward 15) announced she is introducing a resolution at the March 15 City Council meeting asking the City to delay any further speed camera installations until an educational campaign can take place.

“I’ve heard from countless constituents that they had no warning that these speed cameras were being installed,” stated Matos. “After many conversations with concerned constituents, it was apparent that there was not enough education and outreach to alert the community about how these cameras work, their sensitivity, and the high cost of the tickets.  I’m hopeful that the City will take a step-back and institute better and more signage, and implement an outreach component that explains the cameras and how they work.”

Along with Councilwoman Matos the resolution will be co-sponsored by Councilman Luis A. Aponte (Ward 10), Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), Councilman Michael Correia (Ward 6), Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Councilman Bryan Principe (Ward 13), and Councilwoman Carmen Castillo (Ward 9).

Community Opposition

Now, community activist Anthony Sionni created the Facebook page "STOP Elorza’s CASH CAMS."

The stated purpose of the page, according to Sionni, is for "all the people against these cameras. We have to rise up and fight!"

Five cameras generated 12,193 tickets worth $1.15 million between Jan. 16 and Feb. 22, according to WPRI.

See the Cameras in the Slideshow Below

New Cameras

The new locations for the cameras are Arlington Avenue from Freeman Parkway to Humboldt Avenue, Laurel Hill Avenue from Plainfield Street to Hartford Avenue, Elmgrove Avenue from Laurel Avenue to Rochambeau Avenue, Blackstone Boulevard/Butler Avenue from President Avenue to South Angell Street, Chalkstone Avenue from Lisbon Street to Smith Street and Douglas Avenue from Douglas Avenue to Veazie Street.

All proper signage will be placed at the new locations before the cameras are operational and enforcement is slated to begin on March 5.

About the Cameras

According to the Providence Police, if a vehicle is determined by the PCU to be operating 10 or more miles over the speed limit, a violation will automatically be issued.

The violation will then be reviewed by Providence Police Officers and Conduent, an outside partner who manages and maintains the cameras.  Once the violation is reviewed for accuracy and the information is verified, it is then mailed to the offender for payment. The first and each subsequent fine is $95.00. Visible signage has been placed in the areas where the cameras are stationed to alert drivers that the PCU’s are operating.

“Public safety is a priority for our neighborhoods and our children. This initiative will make our city safer and raise the quality of life for all,” said Councilman John J. Igliozzi, who helped sponsor this initiative in his role as Chair of Finance.


Related Slideshow: Providence Speed Cameras Defaced.


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